Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is increasing its research and development spending to $15 billion over the next three years — $5 billion per year on average — in the hopes of competing with U.S. tech giants like Amazon and Google.
But even by doubling its previous fiscal year’s spending of $2.5 billion, Alibaba will still fall far behind its American counterparts. Last year its most obvious rival, Amazon, spent $16.1 billion on R&D, more than any company in the world.
According to Bloomberg, part of the increased spending will go toward “moonshot” projects and a research unit that will set up R&D labs around the world.
In the U.S., tech companies lead the S&P 500 in R&D spending. Alibaba had to increase its spending just to keep up.