(Editor’s note: This article was originally published on March 5, 2021.)
The Alibaba News Roundup is a weekly digest of events and happenings across the company. This week, we look at Cainiao’s partnership with Saudi Cargo and the logistics unit’s new sky bridge linking Asia, Europe and Middle East. And we share news about Amap’s launch of a pharmacy delivery service via Ele.me and the food delivery app’s support of small floral businesses in China.
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Cainiao Partners with Saudi Cargo to Bolster China-EMEA E-Commerce
Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, announced a partnership with Saudi Cargo on Monday to operate five weekly flights from Hong Kong to Liege in Belgium, with Riyadh in South Arabia as a connection point, catering to the growing e-commerce demand between the regions. The Middle East is one of the top five overseas markets for Cainiao, with shipment volume growing 20% year-on-year. With the launch of new flights, customers in the Middle East will be able to receive their online orders from China in as fast as 10 days. The popular products among Middle Eastern customers are electronic goods, apparel and household products.
Amap Launches Pharmacy Delivery Service
Alibaba has just made it easier for Chinese consumers to get medicine from their local pharmacists. Starting March 2, users of Amap, Alibaba’s mapping and navigation service, have not just been able to locate nearby drugstores through the app, but also have the items delivered to their homes via Ele.me with a few taps on their phone screens. Nearly 100,000 pharmacies now offer delivery through Amap, while close to 300 cities support 24-hour deliveries. Consumers can search for the type of medicine or keywords, such as, “buy medicine” or “pharmacies,” to find their closest stores.
New Ele.me Solution Helping Small Floral Businesses Win Big Clients
On top of ramping up its drugstore deliveries, Ele.me has also introduced a new flower-delivery service aimed specifically at corporate customers. Nearly 5,000 independent florists and cut-flower merchants have signed on to pilot the new service – the platform’s bid to help small business owners make use of digital tools to win larger orders. Ele.me recently launched a dedicated landing page to market these offerings ahead of International Women’s Day, typically a peak sales season as companies send gifts to and celebrate their female employees. Some flower shops have also created custom sections just for enterprises on their Ele.me storefronts, providing a larger-quantity product assortment and purchase invoices for reimbursement.
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