Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) has moved to assure its cloud customers that their data is safe, as it looks to expand further into markets like the U.S and take on companies like Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT).
The Chinese Internet giant's cloud division Aliyun published its "Data Protection Pact" on Wednesday. In it, the company said people and organizations using its services had "absolute ownership" over all the data generated, and also had the right to "freely and safely access, share, exchange, transfer or delete their data at any time."
Aliyun also promised not to alter any data transferred through its service and said it will "strictly abide" by the pledge.
It's an telling move by Alibaba, which has been rapidly expanding its cloud business. In June, the Chinese e-commerce company struck a series of global partnerships that enables it to use existing data centers built by its partners to push its own services.
The cloud currently makes up only very small part of Alibaba's overall business, but as it strives to become a global player it will face tough competition from the likes of Amazon, Microsoft and IBM (NYSE: IBM) in the U.S.
Western consumers haven't always held Chinese brands in the highest esteem, however, particularly when it comes to handling data -- a point Aliyun's president acknowledged. He said the data protection pact was an attempt to change that.
"There is some misunderstanding between U.S. consumers and Chinese consumers because they share different cultural values and we are trying to address them," Simon Hu, president of Aliyun told CNBC in a statement.
"We are willing to help consumer data and offer the data protection pact now and show our commitment."
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