Alibaba’s $15 billion global R&D push is named after a legendary Indian monk from centuries ago

Earlier this week, China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba announced that the company will invest $15 billion in R&D projects in the next five years and open seven tech labs across the globe—an initiative it’s calling DAMO Academy.

DAMO is a mouthful that stands for “Discovery, Adventure, Momentum, and Outlook,” and highlights Alibaba’s ambition to turn itself into a global tech giant in the same league as the likes of Google and Microsoft. The Chinese name of the R&D push, however,...

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