Alibaba spins out Aliyun team with $200 million investment, pep talk

Acer CloudMobile with Aliyun

You can imagine that the team building Alibaba's Aliyun mobile OS must have hurt feelings following Google's accusations that Aliyun is just a corruption of Android. Alibaba chief Jack Ma is keen to restore some of that wounded pride, at least on the surface. The CEO has used a since-confirmed staff memo to spin out Aliyun as a separate entity that will "safeguard the healthy growth" of the platform and Alibaba's mobile strategy. It's not solely an instance of tough love, either: Alibaba is putting $200 million into the new firm and will use executive Wang Jian as a link between the two sides, having him serve as the CTO for both companies. With that in mind, Ma's ultimate intentions aren't clear. While the separation may be a sign of a tighter focus on software, it also reduces the impact for Alibaba if anything drags Aliyun down -- and either motivation would be helpful for a company devoted to the web before anything else.