Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, today announced the opening of four new data centers by the end of 2016 in the Middle East (Dubai), Europe, Australia and Japan. As a major milestone of Alibaba Cloud's global expansion, the new centers will boost its data center network to 14 locations, covering key economic centers around the world. The data center in the Middle East, located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, commenced initial operations today. Alibaba Cloud's expansion will provide customers worldwide with improved latency and greater access to its diverse offerings, including data storage and analytics services, enterprise-level middleware, and cloud security services. Strengthening Alibaba Cloud's position as a major global cloud provider, the new data centers will support Alibaba Cloud's growing client base beyond the current 2.3 million. Through a stronger network of facilities and strategic partnerships, Alibaba Cloud also plans to drive a globalization of innovation. The enhanced cloud capabilities make breakthrough innovation a real possibility with artificial intelligence, deep learning and data analytics. "Alibaba Cloud has contributed significantly to China's technology advancement, establishing critical commerce infrastructure to enable cross-border businesses, online marketplaces, payments, logistics, cloud computing and big data to work together seamlessly. We want to establish cloud computing as the digital foundation for the new global economy using the opportunities of cloud computing to empower businesses of all sizes across all markets," said Simon Hu, President of Alibaba Cloud. Evidence of the potential of Alibaba Cloud can be seen during the recently completed 2016 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, where Alibaba Cloud technology supported all of Alibaba's online marketplaces and facilitated a record-breaking 175,000 transactions per second during peak traffic spikes. The festival showcased the capabilities not only of the cloud, but also a number of other areas, such as virtual reality, thus helping to redefine technological boundaries.