HONG KONG/SHANGHAI, Feb 29 (Reuters) - China's Alibaba Cloud on Thursday said it will slash prices of some of its products by as much as 55%, its most severe price cut to date, amid intensifying competition to attract heavy users, particularly artificial intelligence software developers.

This would be the second time the cloud arm of Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba Group Holding has cut prices in less than a year after reductions of as much as 50% in April.

The cloud service provider said it will lower prices of over 100 products by an average of 20%.

The price cuts constitute Alibaba's latest effort to persuade developers to build data-intensive AI models and applications using its cloud services.

Rivals including Tencent Holdings and Huawei Technologies, which also cut cloud prices last year following Alibaba's lead, have offered a number of promotions to convince tech firms to develop AI within their ecosystems.

"We decided to launch the price reduction campaign to lower the threshold of cloud services for more enterprises and developers," Alibaba Cloud executive Liu Weiguang said at a conference in Beijing on Thursday.

Alibaba wants to build the market's most open cloud, Liu said.

Alibaba Cloud was one of China's earliest entrants to cloud computing. It currently serves about one-third of the local market. (Reporting by Josh Ye and Brenda Goh; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Christopher Cushing)