China’s Alibaba is investing $15 billion into a network of research groups with a mission to challenge Silicon Valley’s dominance in technology.
Alibaba announced on Wednesday that the investment would be used to create research labs over the next three years around the world. The goal of the $15 billion investment is to focus on future technology such as quantum computing and the Internet-of-Things.
That said, Amazon, Alibaba’s most significant global competitor, invested $16 billion into technology research and development last year. In fact, Amazon is already planning on using drones, cashier-less stores, and other future technology to innovate how the world buy and sell products.
Ultimately, billionaire tech leaders are always focused on the future. Jack Ma, the CEO of Alibaba, predicts the world will use robots and artificial intelligence to change the world fundamentally.
Alibaba has also diversified their business by investing in start-ups such as the ride-sharing platform Didi Chuxing and the bike-sharing app ofo. Also, the company has expanded beyond online-retail with cloud services, online payment platforms, and grocery stores. Given the company’s wide-array of businesses, investing in future technology just makes sense.