Alibaba’s cloud scrutinized by US regulators

The US government is concerned about the privacy of US customer information stored on Alibaba’s cloud division services.

Alibaba Cloud is considered by Gartner as one of the 4 largest public clouds behind AWS, Azure and Google. Even if the hyperscaler achieves most of its turnover, it is present in different regions of the world and in particular in the USA.

And this presence is now closely scrutinized by the Office of Intelligence and Security, an office of the Commerce Department, created by the Trump administration, in charge of monitoring or even restricting transactions between American companies and Chinese technology companies (but that of Russia, Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Venezuela).

According to Reuters, the American regulator wants to know not only how the private data of American consumers and the intellectual property data of American companies are stored and protected. In particular, investigators want to verify to what extent the Chinese government has access to this information and to what extent it can pressure Alibaba to disrupt the operations of American companies that use Alibaba Cloud services.

After the Xiaomi, DJI and Huawei cases, Chinese suppliers are now cautious and aware that they are being watched quite closely. They are also increasingly proactive on these subjects: Huawei has opened transparency centers in Europe, for example.

For Alibaba Cloud, this monitoring is therefore anything but a surprise. In its latest activity report, the Chinese giant openly acknowledged that the American companies with which it is contractually bound could be prohibited from continuing their business with Alibaba and be forced to stop their operations hosted by its cloud computing services.

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