STC announces partnership with Alibaba Cloud

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JEDDAH: The state-owned Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and venture capital fund eWTP Arabia on Monday announced a joint partnership with Alibaba Cloud to provide high-performance public cloud services in the Kingdom.

With international headquarters in Singapore, Alibaba Cloud provides cloud computing services to online businesses and is the digital technology backbone of the Chinese e-commerce conglomerate.

“This collaboration is a significant milestone for STC in our efforts to contribute to Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 by introducing a trusted cloud service partner,” Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Al-Swaha told the Saudi Press Agency.

Al-Swaha said the ministry supported companies with foresight, such as Alibaba Cloud, and it looked forward to Alibaba Cloud’s future performance and contribution to Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

Faisal Al-Khamisi, chairman of the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity Programming and Drones, said that such partnerships would make Saudi Arabia “one of the most innovative countries in the world.”

“It’s pivotal for companies to deploy and maintain an elastic, scalable and secure IT infrastructure to keep competitive and innovative in the digital era. We are excited to partner with Alibaba Cloud to bring their expertise to our customers,” said Nasser Bin Sulaiman Al-Nasser, CEO of STC Group.

Alibaba Cloud is planning to invest up to $500 million over the next five years as part of the partnership. As part of the deal, a new office to be set up in Riyadh to provide services and training to local customers.

The investment will also provide a wide range of resources to help build sustainability and ensure localization.

“Saudi Arabia is a strategic market for us,” said Jeff Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, Partner of Alibaba Group.

“Alibaba Cloud is committed to delivering our best-in-class services and solutions, as well as our business practices in digital transformation to the partners and customers we work with in the Kingdom,” Zhang said.

“We are very proud and thankful to bring both these great companies together with the support of the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity Programming and Drones,” Jerry Li, managing partner of eWTP Arabia Fund added.

Saudi Arabia has taken major steps in recent years to become the epicenter of cloud computing technology operations.

Last week, Saudi Aramco Development Company and Google Cloud signed an agreement to offer services to customers in Saudi Arabia. According to Aramco, Google Cloud will establish and operate a new cloud region in Saudi Arabia and a new company will be formed to supply cloud solutions and services to customers.

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