Alibaba News Roundup: Brands Play Into China’s Snow Sports Obsession; Alibaba Cloud Rolls Out Multi-Lingual LLM; 2024 Lunar New Year Wraps Up

Main Content

Alibaba News Roundup: Brands Play Into China’s Snow Sports Obsession; Alibaba Cloud Rolls Out Multi-Lingual LLM; 2024 Lunar New Year Wraps Up

Photo credit: Moon Boot

High-end winter sports labels are getting in on the snow sports boom in China and a rise in winter breaks to cities such as Harbin.

In other news, a large-language model from Alibaba Cloud can comprehend and create content in 12 languages, expanding the range of use cases for this AI-powered tool.

Meanwhile, the world’s largest human migration concluded this week. The eight-day Lunar New Year public holiday in mainland China, which started on Feb. 10, is marked by temple visits, fireworks and trips home as travelers crisscross China to reunite with families.

Moon Boot Perfect Moment Tmall
Global sportswear brands tap into winter sports boom. Photo credit: Moon Boot, Perfect Moment

Sporty-Chic Chinese Consumers Propel Skiwear Brands into Spotlight

Skiwear brands, including Moon Boot and Perfect Moment, are riding on a wave of interest in skiing and wintertime sports across China.

Sifting through data from the recent Lunar New Year holidays, travel platform Fliggy reported an uptick in snowy holiday bookings to destinations like icy Harbin.

China will become the largest winter sports market, with people participating forecast to reach 50 million by 2025 with 1,000 ski resorts to be open by 2030, according to reports by Daxue Consulting and Capital Mind. 

Chamonix-born Perfect Moment recently became available on Alibaba Group’s B2C marketplace Tmall.

“Growth of the global luxury goods market is expected to be significantly driven by demand from China and from emerging markets,” the brand said in its IPO prospectus with US regulators.

The brand fuses high fashion with technical precision throughout its range of jackets, bibs, pants and more, while the futuristic shoe brand Moon Boot keeps feet toasty on the slopes and the streets.

Skiing captured the imaginations of many consumers in China after Eileen Gu’s Olympic debut during the 2022 Winter Olympics, pushing up the profile of other slope-side sports like snowboarding in the process.

Over 13 million people are hitting China’s slopes every year, according to data gathered by Geneva-based ski business consultant Laurent Vanat.

Alibaba Cloud Rolls out Language Models with Enhanced Multilingual Capabilites

Alibaba Cloud rolls out the latest iteration of its Qwen model series, Qwen 1.5, with enhanced capabilities of understanding and generating content in 12 languages including Arabic, Japanese and Spanish, the company shared this week.

The cloud computing company is opening access to six sizes of the Qwen model, including a small language model (SLM) version, and their conversationally finetuned version for research and commercial purposes.

The open-sourced models, with enhanced multilingual capabilities, can better serve applications such as translation, language understanding, and multilingual chat, according to Alibaba Cloud.

SLMs are on the rise given their relatively lower demands on computing compared with traditional large language models.

Alibaba Cloud said it will continue to improve the quality of small language models and explore methods for transferring the advanced capabilities inherent in larger models into the smaller ones.

Year of the Dragon Starts With Roar for the Tourism Industry, says Alibaba’s Fliggy

Alibaba’s online travel platform Fliggy reported a rise in bookings over the Lunar New Year holidays, helped by a domestic tourism boom and adventure-seeking holiday-makers.

China’s peak travel season, known as Chunyun, is closely watched as a barometer of consumer sentiment and travel trends.

Travelers made 474 million domestic trips during the holiday, up 34.3% year-on-year and 19% above the holiday period in 2019, according to official statistics.

Read the full story

Chinese New Year Tourism 1

Lunar New Year Spending Rebounds; China Box Office Record and AI Gives Gifting an Upgrade

Chinese tourists’ payments activity recovered to pre-pandemic levels over the Lunar New Year and artificial intelligence took the Chinese tradition of gifting money to a higher level, data from payments platform Ant Group said. 

China’s ongoing entertainment boom got another fuel injection over the eight days of public holidays as millions of Chinese relaxed by going to the movies and restaurants or simply staying at home and streaming videos.

Blockbuster “Yolo” made silver-screen history by raking in the highest movie receipts for a Spring Festival.

Feast on Spring Festival insights

Alibaba’s Tmall Global: Major Moments In A Decade At the Heart of China’s Cross-Border E-Commerce

Tmall Global has built a cross-border platform serving over 100 million customers in the last ten years.

The business has been at the center of a surge in cross-border e-commerce into China, helping brands from British beauty devices brand CurrentBody to Australian health products producer Blackmores reach China’s consumers.

We look back at the major milestones from launch to running China’s largest platform for imported goods.

Explore the timeline

Opinion: Tmall Global has Fast-Tracked International Brands into China for a Decade

Established in 2014 at a time of surging cross-border online shopping in mainland China, Tmall Global has rapidly evolved over the past decade. From a start of 100 overseas brands, it has grown into a commerce powerhouse featuring over 46,000 brands from 90 countries and regions, covering 7,000 product categories.

The journey doesn’t end here. Tmall Global plans to cater to the emerging needs of its 100 million plus users and deepen engagement with them by embracing new forms of content and advances in technology.

The platform’s general manager Lynn Dong charts these highs in her first op-ed for Alizila.

Read Dong’s article

Alibaba CloudAlibaba News RoundupTmall
Reuse this content

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Stay updated on the digital economy with our free weekly newsletter