The countries where they are headquartered may be politically and territorially at odds, but China's Alibaba has formed a partnership with Taiwan's Foxconn to encourage the next generation of world dominating businesses.
Alibaba is China's, and in the opinion of many experts, the world's biggest online commerce company, while Foxconn, which manufactures Apple products, is the world's largest electronics contractor, and by revenue the third largest information technology company.
According to a joint statement, the two giants will create an investment "incubator" intended to nurture SME and "micro" businesses by giving them access to Foxconn's expertise in design, patent development and supply chain management, while Alibaba will provide access to its cloud computing platform, AliCloud.
The statement says Intel, and investment companies Valley Capital and Zhubajie.com, will provide infrastructure to the program which has been trialed for the last six months with 280 businesses involved so far.
Although mainly Chinese and Taiwanese based companies were involved, U.S and European expansion is planned. In the statement, Alibaba says one notable start-up that benefited greatly in the trial was Silicon Valley’s fitness wearable brand Moov.
Alibaba's Chief Technology Officer Jian Wang says, “Alibaba Group is helping enterprises and startups progress by making computing services more accessible." Experts say this is the company's main tactic for achieving global domination.
Until now, Alibaba has been content, at least publically, to partner with local partners to push its services to Chinese companies doing business overseas. With the incubator deal, it has made clear it has international aspirations. Alibaba's opening of its second data centre in Silicon Valley last week was part of this global cloud expansion push to which it has reportedly committed $1billion.
Not only will the program’s non-Chinese participating start-ups have access to all of the expertise and resources of Alibaba and Foxconn, but they also now have an easy route into the huge Chinese consumer market.