Alibaba cloud computing arm to help foreign tech firms enter China

A sign of Alibaba Group is seen at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) Asia 2016 in Shanghai, China, May 12, 2016. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is offering to help international technology firms such as SAP SE to enter China, a market where foreign tech companies face increased government scrutiny.

Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, said in a statement on Tuesday it aims to assist technology firms overcoming business obstacles in China. It said it’s offering foreign firms joint ventures and partnerships through its cloud computing programs.

The company said its AliLaunch program has signed up 11 partners including German software maker SAP, Hitachi Data Systems - a unit of Japanese industrial group Hitachi Ltd - and AppScale Systems Inc of the United States.

The move came at a time when China is becoming increasingly wary of foreign technology and authorities are openly pushing for the use of more Chinese and less foreign-made technology.

Reporting by Yimou Lee; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell