Alibaba Group has announced that its cloud arm plans to add up to 5,000 employees globally before the end of the company’s current financial year, which runs till March 31 – about nine months from now.

The Chinese cloud giants looks to recruit staffs into areas such as network, database, servers, chips and artificial intelligence, as it plans to expand its cloud services faster than usual due to the spike in digital services demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“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. In light of the fast-growing demand of digital shift from global clients in all sectors, we are continuing with our commitment to offering world-class cloud services,” said Jeff Zhang, president of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.

“To move forward at full speed, we are not only building trusted cloud technologies and services but also investing in worldwide IT talents who are pioneering the development of cutting-edge cloud and data intelligence technologies.”

This announcement follows Alibaba’s commitment to invest 200 billion yuan (approx. US$28 billion) in its cloud computing arm over the next three years. This investment is to focus on infrastructures and technologies within the sphere of data centers, operating systems, servers, chips and networks.

Although the company has more of its facilities concentrated in Asia, Alibaba Cloud operates 63 availability zones across its 21 regions globally, and coming up with huge plans to expand its footprints in the next few months.

As announced in April, the amount budgeted for Alibaba Cloud expansion projects (US$28 billion) represents about 50 percent of the revenues Alibaba Group reported in 2019, which totaled about US$56 billion – becoming the current largest expansion project ever planned in the global cloud industry.