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Alibaba establishes 5G research lab under DAMO Academy research division

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Alibaba Group is seen at the company's headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, November 18, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd will establish a research lab for the development of 5G technologies, under its DAMO Academy research division, the company said announced on Monday.

Dubbed the Alibaba XG Lab, it comes as China rapidly deploys 5G base stations across the country and tech companies prepare to develop applications that can utilize the upgraded networking infrastructure.

In a statement, Alibaba said the lab will focus on “network-layer protocols” that can promote applications related to entertainment, virtual reality, and e-commerce.

DAMO Academy was launched in 2017 as a division for Alibaba to research advanced technologies such as AI and machine learning. The unit currently has 15 labs including the 5G one, according to the company.

Urged by the government, carriers have rapidly deployed 5G networks, putting China at the forefront of countries poised to adopt the technology. China had deployed roughly 130,000 5G base stations by the end of 2019.

Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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