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Alibaba to Triple Investment in Cutting-Edge Research to $15 Billion

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. early Wednesday announced it will nearly triple spending on research and development to more than $15 billion over the next three years, as it seeks to keep pace with such Western competitors as Alphabet Inc. and Amazon.com, reports MarketWatch (Oct. 11, Lin) Alibaba launched as a Web-based marketplace, but it has since moved into artificial-intelligence and cloud computing initiatives. "In the previous three years, its spending on research and development was about $6 billion -- a fraction of what major U.S. tech companies spend," notes MarketWatch. Moving forward, Alibaba CTO Jeff Zhang will spearhead a new unit dubbed the DAMO Academy (an acronym for discovery, adventure, momentum and outlook) that will establish research and development labs around the globe, including one in cooperation with the University of California, Berkeley.

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