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JD.com plays catch-up in cloud computing space

JD Cloud, a wholly owned cloud computing subsidiary of JD.com Inc., has set up a new unit in Yancheng city in China's Jiangsu Province, according to data from Chinese company database Qichacha.

Data show that JD (Yancheng) Cloud Computing Ltd. was registered on May 17 with capital of 50 million Chinese yuan.

According to Qichacha, JD Cloud has established 24 subsidiaries in Chinese cities since it was set up in 2018. The unit is headed by Shen Yuanqing, who previously worked at the Asia-Pacific operations of Microsoft Corp.

JD.com was a late entrant into the market for cloud computing. The company lags behind rival Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., whose cloud computing unit Aliyun Computing Co. Ltd. led the market in China and the Asia-Pacific region in 2018, according to a Gartner report. The e-commerce giant benefits from regulations that require foreign cloud computing companies to license their technology to local partners.

Revenue at Alibaba's cloud computing unit grew by 76% year over year to 7.73 billion yuan in its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings.

As of May 23, US$1 was equivalent to 6.91 yuan.