Alibaba Cloud denies report on data theft of Indian users


Amid India’s crackdown on Chinese companies engaged in suspicious activities, Alibaba Cloud, the data intelligence backbone of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, on Thursday denied a report on data theft of Indian users.

The company said that its customers have the sole discretion regarding transfer of their data.

The response came after a media report, citing intelligence sources, said this week that 72 servers operated by Alibaba have been identified as sending data of Indian users to China.

“We continue to be committed to complying with local laws everywhere we operate. Similar to any other cloud service provider, customers that utilise our cloud services have the sole discretion to encrypt, store and/or transfer their data across any data centre facilities globally, including outside of India,” a spokesperson from Alibaba Cloud told IANS.

“Contractually, we don’t have rights to access, view or move customers’ data without their specific instruction and approval,” the spokesperson said, adding that the company will “investigate and take appropriate actions” if it becomes aware that a customer is conducting illegal activities utilising its Cloud services.

India has already banned over 200 Chinese apps over national security and data protection concerns amid border tension in Ladakh.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Alibaba Cloud, launched in April a Global SME Enablement Program to provide Cloud technology relief worth more than $30 million to new and existing small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) customers around the world and equip them with the solutions needed to maintain business continuity.

According to intelligence officials, some data servers operated by Alibaba seemingly offer free trial usage periods to organisations in a bid to trap them for data theft, News18 reported.

India is likely to start a “massive probe” into China’s alleged cyber espionage, according to the report.



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