By Tracy Qu

Alibaba Group is lowering prices on core cloud products for international customers, seeking to tap enthusiasm for artificial intelligence computing and gain an edge in markets dominated by the likes of Amazon, Google and Microsoft.

The cloud-computing arm of Chinese technology giant Alibaba said Monday that it has trimmed prices across five categories by an average 23% for customers making use of its data centers outside mainland China. The cuts follow an average 20% decrease in prices for various products in late February for customers in China.

Alibaba Cloud said the cuts were aligned with an "AI first strategy" to make core computing resources accessible to a range of customers.

Alibaba's revenue from cloud services, considered one of the Chinese e-commerce giant's most promising businesses, has slowed in recent quarters amid competition from rival cloud units of Huawei Technologies and Tencent Holdings in its key market of China. Cloud sales rose about 3% from a year earlier in each of the last two October-to-December quarters, slowing from 20% for the same period in 2021.

Alibaba had planned to spin off its cloud unit when the company announced a major restructuring plan last year. Chairman Joe Tsai then said in November that the plan might not benefit shareholders, citing the effects of U.S. export restrictions on advanced computing chips.

Shares of Alibaba closed 0.5% higher at 70.40 Hong Kong dollars (US$8.99), beating a 0.05% rise in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.

Write to Tracy Qu at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-08-24 0638ET