Alibaba News Roundup: AliHealth’s ESG Report; AliGenie’s Smart-Home Devices; Carveboarding with Tmall

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Alibaba News Roundup: AliHealth’s ESG Report; AliGenie’s Smart-Home Devices; Carveboarding with Tmall

Photo credit: Shutterstock

This week, Alibaba Group’s healthcare arm AliHealth shared in its annual ESG report featuring how the platform is helping consumers access medical resources and enabling healthcare providers to overcome pandemic-related strains.                  

In other news, Alibaba’s flagship smart speaker Tmall Genie reported that its open-platform intelligent voice assistant has helped over 1,600 brands build smart home devices.  

And check out the Tmall Global booth at the China International Consumer Products Expo 2022 next week in Hainan. 

Take a sip of the whisky millennials love in China, and tag along with Gen-Z consumers as they go on a carveboarding safari.

Staying Healthy with AliHealth 

Awareness about the importance of healthcare is growing in China, AliHealth reported this week as the business unit outlined how it is creating a more equal and healthy society in its 2022 annual ESG report.

AliHealth, a key player in China’s internet healthcare industry, made door-to-door Covid-19 testing appointments possible for residents in 120 cities across China last November.

The platform lined up medical volunteers in August last year, enabling home consultation for needy patients. By March, more than 3,000 doctors had donated their time.

Meanwhile, another 10,000 doctors from China’s 421 county hospitals in rural areas took part in online training sessions offered by AliHealth and its partners.

Last year, the platform also launched a program to help children with serious diseases. To date, over 3,000 children have received preliminary screenings, and more than 300 went on to receive medical and financial support.

AliGenie Helps Hundreds of Brands Build Smart Home Devices 

AliGenie, the artificial intelligence voice assistant powering Tmall Genie, has helped more than 1,600 brandsturn their products into smart-home devices, according to the latest data from the company. 

Manufacturers can develop and share third-party products on the open platform, which has connected with 460 million devices across over 1,000 internet-of-things service providers so far.

The technology shortens brands’ development cycles from eight months to two, enabling merchants to jump onboard the booming smart-home device trend.

From 2019 to 2021, sales of smart-home devices on Alibaba’s B2B marketplace Tmall more than doubled, with new buyers accounting for the bulk of orders, according to the platform. 

The top five device categories with the highest adoption rate of AliGenie are kitchen appliances, washers, printers, air conditioners and robotic vacuum cleaners.

Tmall Global Booth
Tmall Global’s booth at China International Consumer Products Expo 2022. Photo credit: Alibaba Group

Surf’s Up! Carveboarding Takes China By Storm

Chinese consumers are exploring new sports, and Tmall Global has just the thing for trendy shoppers visiting its booth at the China International Consumer Products Expo 2022 held between July 26 to 30 in Hainan. 

A 200-square-meter area has been set aside for carveboarding brands to showcase their products. Careveboarding, also known as surfskating, is a type of skateboarding characterized by the surfing-like motions of its riders and is growing in popularity among China’s young trendsetters.

Curious consumers can have their first rides on surf skates under the guidance of professional trainers at the exhibition and watch top skaters perform stunts.

Other trends featured at the booth include glamping, coffee and alcohol consumption, beauty and pet pampering.

A livestreaming booth is built in the exhibition area and will stream live from the expo between July 26 to 28. For those who want to tune in, follow this link

AliExpress Parcel Lockers Number Top 30,000 in Europe 

Alibaba’s international e-commerce site AliExpress revealed earlier this week that it had built over 36,000 parcel lockers and collection points in Europe by the end of June and is on track to set up over 47,500 by the end of the year. 

The lockers network gives AliExpress consumers access to a contactless logistics service with a flexible pick-up schedule. Shoppers can choose to pick up their parcels at their convenience by scanning a QR code at their nearest locker or entering a digital code.

AliExpress started to build its lockers network in collaboration with Cainiao and its local logistics partners in March last year. The network has covered business centers and tourist spots in major European cities, including Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, and Warsaw.

According to AliExpress, the daily use of parcel lockers in Spain has increased by 15 times in Spain by the end of June since March last year.  In France, the daily use of lockers increased by three times over the same time period.

High-Tech Hues: Alibaba Algorithm Has Chinese Shoppers Looking Their Best

Color is used in many art forms, but selecting the next big trend in the area is strictly a science, Alibaba’s retail trend research hub Tmall Worldwide Trend & Style Alliance (TWTA) discovered.

An AI-powered collaboration between TWTA and Alibaba’s research arm DAMO Academy forecasts that bright, lush orange and pastel cyan blue will be all the rage these fall and winter seasons.

While hibiscus orange stands for the power of the newborn, cyan blue symbolizes serendipity and harmony — qualities high in demand as the world deals with the pandemic.

“Color is what connects consumers and retailers,” Sun Yi, Head of TWTA, told Alizila.

TWTA is a subsidiary of Tmall Innovation Center that helps brands incubate products specifically for the China market.

Read the full story here

Recipe For Success: Alibaba’s TMIC Helps European Brands Cater to Chinese Consumers

Alibaba’s product incubator Tmall Innovation Center (TMIC) has partnered with brands, including Swiss food group Nestlé, German skincare company Nivea and Dutch health technology conglomerate Philips to create items, test new lines and accelerate product development.

In a recent webinar, retail executives came together to share how TMIC is helping streamline development and more than halve product launch time.

“Innovation in China means speed,” said Rebecca Wang, Vice President and Head of Omni Grocery Retail and eBusiness at Nestlé China.

Watch the full video here

Retail executives share how TMIC helps product incubation

Hello, Kitty! Alibaba Pictures Takes Sanrio Characters Further Into Chinese Market

Sanrio, the Japanese company behind the pop culture phenomenon Hello Kitty, has partnered with Alibaba Picture’s intellectual property licensing platform Alifish to drive growth in China and increase the local presence of dozens of anthropomorphic characters.

As part of a five-year master licensing agreement, Alifish will release products featuring the company’s stable of 26 adorable cartoonish creations beloved by consumers of all ages from 2023.

“We are very optimistic about the huge potential of the Chinese market, and look forward to more connections and interactions with Chinese consumers,” said Kiyoshi Saito, President of Sanrio Overseas Business Unit, in a statement.

Get the full scoop here

Clarification: An earlier version of this story stated that AliExpress had built over 36,000 parcel lockers in Europe. The story has been updated to clarify that the 36,000 refers to the total number of parcel pick-up points in Europe, including parcel lockers and associated collection points.

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