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Alibaba's Taps Japan's Cloud Market, Signs Dreamworks Streaming Deal

Jack Ma's quest to grow Alibaba (BABA) into a one-stop-shop for all kinds of business and consumer needs continued Thursday as the company announced a pair of partnerships aimed at boosting two of its key initiatives: content delivery and cloud storage.

Alibaba, known for its e-commerce platforms Tmall and Taobao, has officially entered the Japanese market today through a local data center hosted by SB Cloud Corporation under a joint venture with Tokyo-based SoftBank Group Corp. The company also said it had struck a three-year licensing partnership with Oriental DreamWorks to bring animated movies to Chinese viewers via online streaming sites and, two of China's biggest streaming platforms also owned by Alibaba.

The Japan data center deal, which was done via Alibaba's cloud computing arm Alibaba Cloud (known in China as Aliyun), came on the heels of an announcement last month about the company plans to launch four new data centers in Japan, Germany, Australia and the United Arab Emirates, which brings the number of Alibaba Cloud centers outside of China to eight and its total global physical presence to 14.

"The new data center in Japan will enable us to better serve the needs of existing clients who are expanding globally and require scalable and secure cloud computing services. Our global network will enable customers to truly manage their IT infrastructure in different regions with one global account," said Ethan Yu, Vice President of Alibaba Group and General Manager of Alibaba Cloud Global in...