alibaba cloud

Alibaba: US leads investigation

The US Department of Commerce is investigating Alibaba. Washington fears that private data of fellow citizens will be accessible to Chinese leaders. The suspicion could lead to a total ban on the Cloud services of the multinational founded by Jack Ma.

Alibaba Cloud in the crosshairs

According to Reuters, the Office of Intelligence and Security is investigating an Alibaba subsidiary dedicated to cloud computing. The British press agency cites three concurrent sources for this information which concerns geopolitics. Created by the Republican regime of Donald Trump, this wing of the US Department of Commerce has enforceable force.

The Office of Intelligence and Security has the authority to restrict or prohibit any U.S.-China technology transaction. This federal authority can decide which foreign digital skills are admissible in the United States. During his mandate, the outgoing American president had the Chinese high-tech giants in his sights. Huawei, TikTok and Xiaomi were targeted before Alibaba Cloud.

A likely national security issue

The ongoing investigation into Alibaba Cloud must determine whether the threat concerns US security or not. The questions are based on the method of storing personal information. The report should specify whether American customers of this online service provider are exposed to any dangers, in this case the theft of intellectual property.

The American department’s concerns are also based on possible access by Chinese authorities to data stored in Alibaba’s servers. The investigation should shed light on gray areas about the real power in the hands of the Beijing government. The possibility of blocking logins solely to harm users across the Atlantic is mentioned.

A lire également  How to check if your email address has been hacked?

The e-commerce giant could comply with orders from Washington

Only the investigation report should justify whether American fears are well-founded. If so, the federal government could decide to order Alibaba to deploy measures to reduce risks. It may even close services to customers located in the States. In any case, this affair constitutes another obstacle for the Chinese e-commerce giant which is painfully trying to conquer the American market.

The Alibaba Group’s first data center was opened in the United States in 2015. It was the pioneer of export beyond the borders of the People’s Republic of China. However, the cloud computing of Jack Ma’s team is struggling to take off in Uncle Sam’s country. According to Gartner, the American market brings in less than $50 million per year.

An American-Chinese soap opera against a backdrop of legal vacuum

Alibaba Cloud already caught the attention of the Trump administration in August 2020. At the time, the outgoing president criticized Chinese online service providers for exposing the sensitive information of fellow citizens. The risk on personal data, but especially on industrial espionage was mentioned. The American discourse on the protection of information stored in the Chinese cloud is reminiscent of the language of the European Union on the issue. In the absence of a legal framework and without the Privacy Shield, legal uncertainty persists.