Alibaba News Roundup: Alibaba Unveils New Global Headquarters; Alipay Transactions Jump Over May Holiday; ABH Extends Entry Deadline

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Alibaba News Roundup: Alibaba Unveils New Global Headquarters; Alipay Transactions Jump Over May Holiday; ABH Extends Entry Deadline

Photo credit: Alibaba Group

This week, Alibaba Group debuted its new offices in Hangzhou by welcoming employees and their families to tour the campus.

In other news, online and mobile payment platform Alipay reported a substantial year-on-year increase in overseas transactions during the first days of China’s Labor Day holiday in May.

And the annual entrepreneurship competition organized by Africa’s Business Heroes has extended its application deadline and is encouraging start-ups from across the continent to apply.

Alibaba Opens New Hangzhou Headquarters

Alibaba Group cut the ribbon on its largest office campus to date this week, a sprawling combination of work facilities and park land in Hangzhou.

The new campus is green inside and out, with AI-enhanced air conditioning and lighting systems to reduce energy use and slash carbon emissions.

To promote healthy living amongst employees, the campus includes a FIFA-certified standard football field, 400-meter track, basketball and badminton courts and several gyms.

“Alibaba has always been committed to establishing a diverse, inclusive and inclusive workplace culture and creating a work environment that promotes the health and vitality of employees,” said Alibaba Group’s General Affairs President Liu Fei.

Each building on the new campus is equipped with a maternity lounge for nursing mothers, as well as a multitude of barrier-free facilities catering to the visually impaired and physically disabled.

The unveiling coincides with the platform company’s employee appreciation day on May 10, also known as AliDay.

Alipay Labor Day 2024 China
A man uses Alipay to make a purchase. Photo credit: Ant Group

Outbound Chinese Travelers Fuel Recent Rise in Overseas Alipay Transactions

Alipay saw a 77% year-on-year increase in transactions made by users in overseas markets during the first two days of China’s recent Labor Day holiday as travelers embarked on adventures around the world.

Spending by Alipay users in Southeast Asia jumped 52% over this period compared with last year, and the platform noted a particularly large uptick in Malaysia, where expenditure rose 171%.

Japan has also risen in popularity as a budget-friendly destination and Alipay spending in the country grew 164% year-on-year during the first two days of May.

Alipay is accepted by over 8 million merchants in more than 70 countries and regions, making the payment platform a valuable ally for Chinese consumers when they travel.

Total spending by Alipay users between May 1 and May 2 rose 10% year-on-year, according to the platform.

See what else Chinese tourists did over the recent holiday

ABH Application Deadline Extended By 3 Weeks

Calling all entrepreneurs and business founders across Africa: 2024 could be your time to shine.

Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) annual pitching competition has extended its deadline for entries from May 19 to June 9, and is inviting candidates to apply now.

The Jack Ma Foundation-backed initiative combines training, mentorship and networking over several rounds of competition to select 10 finalists who will share a $1.5 million prize pool. The first prize winner will receive a grant of $300,000.

Last year’s finalists hailed from a range of sectors, including healthcare, agriculture and education, but all shared a common drive to improve life in their communities.

If this sounds like you, visit the application portal here to submit your entry in English or French.

Discover more articles about entrepreneurship across Africa

Taobao Website Alibaba Update 618
Photo credit: Alibaba Group

Alibaba Overhauls Taobao Website Ahead of Revamped 6.18 Sale

The website of Alibaba’s consumer-to-consumer marketplace Taobao received its biggest update in seven years as the business gears up for an improved 6.18 Shopping Festival starting later this month.

Improving user experience lies at the heart of these changes. Earlier this year, Taobao leadership announced it would invest more heavily in content e-commerce, such as livestreaming, with the goal of doubling users year-on-year.

Read the full story

Alibaba Cloud’s Qwen LLM Tops 90,000 Enterprise Clients in First Year

Over 90,000 enterprises have adopted Alibaba Cloud’s proprietary large language model (LLM) Qwen since it launched a year ago, chief technology officer Zhou Jingren shared on Thursday before unveiling the model’s latest update.

The cloud computing company rolled out Qwen 2.5 and announced major updates to its one-stop generative AI platform Model Studio at the AI Pilot Summit in Beijing.

Meet the newest member of the Qwen LLM family

Africa's Business HeroesAlipayHangzhou
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