Alibaba News Roundup: Agoda and Fliggy Deepen Partnership; Africa’s Business Heroes Announces Final 50; Cainiao Widens Delivery Offerings in Spain

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Alibaba News Roundup: Agoda and Fliggy Deepen Partnership; Africa’s Business Heroes Announces Final 50; Cainiao Widens Delivery Offerings in Spain

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This week, Alibaba Group’s travel services company Fliggy expanded its partnership with global travel booking site Agoda, widening the selection of accommodations for Chinese tourists overseas.

In other news, the African entrepreneurship competition sponsored by Alibaba and the Jack Ma Foundation unveiled the top 50 candidates who are up for a chance to win a share of $1.5 million in grant money.

Meanwhile, logistics company Cainiao Group announced this week it broadened its Spanish delivery network, including next-day delivery in nine major cities.

Fliggy Users Given Access to Agoda’s 3.6 Million Accommodation Options

The selection of hotels, homes, apartments and more available to Chinese tourists abroad got a whole lot bigger this week, as Singapore-headquartered booking company Agoda made its inventory available to Fliggy users.

Agoda and its parent company have around 3.6 million properties listings between the two of them.

“This will position our international accommodation offerings at the forefront of the industry, providing Fliggy’s customers with the opportunity to book great value hotel stays globally,” Fliggy CEO Zhuoran Zhuang said in a statement.

The partnership will help both companies cater to the growing demands of Chinese tourists as outbound travel gets back to pre-pandemic levels.

“We are confident that with our tech know-how and extensive accommodation inventory coupled with Fliggy’s strong customer base, together we will strengthen our presence in China and help accelerate the recovery of Chinese outbound travel,” said Agoda’s Chief Commercial Officer Damien Pfirsch in a statement.

Africa’s Business Heroes Prize Competition 2023 Announces Top 50 Candidates

The Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) entrepreneurship challenge winnowed the number of competitors from over 27,000 to a final 50, organizers said this week.

The announcement follows a round of assessment by 256 judges from over 40 countries, who were tasked with evaluating the highest number of submissions since the competition launched in 2019.

“The top 50 finalists represent the incredible potential and talent that exists in Africa, and we believe there are more surprises underway for this edition,” said Jason Pau, Executive Director of International Programs, Jack Ma Foundation, in a statement.

This year’s finalists hail from 20 countries and represent 13 different industries, according to ABH. A third are women.

They will face two more rounds of cuts on their path to win a share of the $1.3 million prize, with the top 20 candidates to be announced in July and the top 10 in September.

Cainiao Expands Delivery in Spain

Cainiao executives shared recent growth in the company’s delivery capabilities in Spain during its annual Global smart Logistics Summit this week.

Between the acquisition of local delivery company EcoScooting last year and ongoing investment in the market, Cainiao has covered 60% of Spain’s population across 30 of the country’s biggest cities.

“We’ve achieved this rapid development thanks to a combination of local know-how from the EcoScooting team and Cainiao’s smart logistics infrastructure and technologies as we continuously invest in this market,” William Xiong, Senior Vice President at Cainiao Group, said in a statement after the event.

At the same time, the company is growing sustainably. Cainiao has around 500 parcel lockers in the Spanish capital of Madrid and Barcelona to reduce carbon emissions associated with door delivery.

Olympic Esports Week Taps Alibaba’s Sustainability Platform to Measure Carbon Emissions

Alibaba Cloud helped organizers of the Olympic Esports Week measure carbon emissions while boosting public engagement in emissions reduction through digital technology.

Alibaba Cloud has trialed its AI-driven sustainability platform Energy Expert to measure and analyze the carbon emissions from temporary construction built to host the first Olympic Esports Week (OEW), including the impact of energy consumption, waste management, signage and decoration.

“We’re pleased to work with Alibaba Cloud to apply cutting-edge technologies to measure carbon emissions so we can continue to make a difference,” said Vincent Pereira, Head of Virtual Sport at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in a release.

Read the full story here

Shop Premium Outlets Welcome Chinese Consumers Virtually This 6.18

Real estate investment trust Simon and Shop Premium Outlets (SPO) joined forces with Alibaba Group’s e-commerce platforms to bring discounted designer goods to consumers in China during the country’s second-largest shopping festival.

The American company behind some of the largest outlet malls in the U.S. opened the doors to Chinese livestreamers at its Desert Hills location in southern California, enabling them to share deals directly with their fans back home.

Learn more here

Celebrity Jeweler Messika Brings Edgy Diamond Designs to China’s Gen Z

Parisian jeweler Messika is shaking up the Chinese diamond market with bracelets, earrings and necklaces designed for the young and young at heart.

Since launching in China in 2020, the brand is now working to broaden its local reach on Alibaba Group’s high-end e-commerce platform Tmall Luxury Pavilion, where Messika opened a flagship store last year.

“When I launched the brand, I was much younger and I really felt that I could not find a brand in the diamond world that corresponded to this [idea of] freedom and attitude,” said Messika’s Founder & Artistic Director Valérie Messika in an interview with Alizila.

Discover the brand’s journey into China here

Alibaba Cloud Contributes to Singapore’s Green Plan

In 2022, Alibaba Cloud launched Energy Expert, a Software-as-a-service platform that measures and analyzes carbon emissions and provides reduction suggestions to companies and organizations.

Now, the platform is used in Singapore to help achieve the net zero goal in 2050, by partnering with different stakeholders, including government agencies, universities, event organizers, and more.

Learn more about Alibaba Cloud’s green initiative here

Cainiao To Roll Out 5-Day Delivery Service Globally; Launches Express Brand In China

The logistics arm of Alibaba is partnering with AliExpress, a marketplace where consumers buy directly from Chinese manufacturers, to launch the service.

“The goal is to provide quality and competitive logistics services to our consumers, merchants, platforms, and logistics partners,” said Cainiao’s CEO, Wan Lin, at the company’s annual global smart logistics summit in Hangzhou, China.

Alibaba said in May that Cainiao could pursue an initial public offering within 12 to 18 months. The e-commerce giant holds a 67% equity interest in Cainiao, while other shareholders include strategic investors in the logistics industry and global institutional investors.

Get the full scoop here

AfricaAfrica's Business HeroesAlibaba News RoundupCainiaoChinese ConsumersFliggyJack Ma Foundation
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