China’s Alibaba will add 5,000 jobs to its cloud computing division between now and the end of the year as the coronavirus crisis stimulates demand for streaming, video calls and data storage.
The new jobs will be in areas including networks, databases, servers, chips and artificial intelligence, the company said. Alibaba (BABA) is the biggest cloud provider in Asia and the third largest globally, according to research firm Gartner.
“The digital transformation journey for businesses in China, which was previously expected to take three to five years, is now likely to be accelerated to be completed within one year.” Jeff Zhang, president of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, said in a statement.
The jobs announcement comes after Alibaba committed in April to spend 200 billion yuan ($28 billion) over the next three years to build more data centers. Cloud revenue at the tech giant grew to 40 billion yuan ($5.7 billion) in fiscal year 2020, an increase of 62% over the previous year.
Unemployment has surged during the pandemic. But there are still companies hiring amid the economic calamity as changing consumer habits compel firms in a wide variety of industries to stock up on talent.
Kroger (KR), Dollar General and Aldi are among the grocery and retail companies hiring workers. There are open positions at defense contractor Raytheon (RTN) and pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline (GLAXF). In the tech industry, PayPal (PYPL), Epic Games and Riot Games have ramped up hiring.
Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT) and Google owner Alphabet (GOOGL) are all major players in cloud, which refers to the delivery of computing services such as storage, databases, software and analytics over the internet.
Microsoft has hundreds of open positions related to its Azure cloud service, according to advertisements on LinkedIn, the social media platform it acquired in 2016, while Amazon lists thousands of cloud jobs on its own website. Google has hundreds more openings in cloud services.
US software firm VMware has 1,350 openings across the world, many of which are in cloud services -— a hiring priority for the company.
Demand for cloud services is surging globally as more people work and attend classes at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Some universities are preparing to present lectures online into next year, and many are looking for suppliers to manage their data backups.
Google Meet, the company’s video-communication service, has seen a 30-fold increase in usage since January, adding around 3 million new users and servicing 3 billion video calls daily.
Slack (WORK), a communication platform which uses Amazon Web Services as its preferred cloud provider, added 12,000 paying customers and 90,000 new organizations in the three months ending April 30. Cisco (CSCO) and Zoom (ZM) have also seen a spike in usage of their work collaboration tools.