Alibaba Group: “App acceleration and mobile will be the focus of our CDN system in 2013″

Qing Ren, Senior Manager at China's Taobao

Qing Ren, Senior Manager at China's Taobao

Qing Ren, Senior Manager in Core System R&D at Chinese firm Taobao, is responsible for the Content Delivery Network (CDN) of Alibaba Group, which runs one of the largest online shopping platforms in the world.

In this interview he discusses the need to build a dedicated CDN platform for Alibaba, the benefits it has delivered, and his predictions for the Chinese CDN market in 2013.

He will be speaking at the CDN Asia 2013 event taking place in Singapore on 29-30 January. For more information and to register, please visit

Can you tell us a little more about the content delivery network (CDN) that Taobao has built for online retailers, and why it was deemed necessary?

Taobao started building its own CDN in the year 2008. Online retailing has become more and more popular in China, and as a result Taobao’s CDN has grown rapidly.

On November 11th of last year, our overall traffic hit 2,100 Gbps. A major difference between Taobao and other CDN systems is that our CDN is dedicated to the delivery of small pictures.

What uptake have you seen in QoS and user satisfaction following its implementation?

Since we built our own CDN system, we have consistently improved it with open source software and In-house software tools. As a result, user feedback has been increasingly positive. For example, the CDN cache hit improved from 83% to 97%, while picture download speed increased by 100%.

What plans do you have to expand its capabilities in 2013?

Application acceleration and mobile will be the focus of our CDN system in 2013. People are getting more and more used to accessing retail websites with their smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices. More resources are about to be invested into these two fields.

How do you see the Chinese CDN market developing next year?

In my personal opinion, the conventional CDN business is growing slowly, while the areas of application acceleration and mobile CDNs are growing very fast. We have also noticed that our customers are starting to pay more attention to the user experience and Quality of Service.

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