Alibaba News Roundup: CEO Addresses Shareholders; Top 5 Gen Z Consumer Trends To Watch

Main Content

Alibaba News Roundup: CEO Addresses Shareholders; Top 5 Gen Z Consumer Trends To Watch

New consumption trends to watch for



This week, Alibaba’s CEO and Chairman Daniel Zhang shared his thoughts on new retail, cloud technology and post-pandemic challenges in an open letter to company shareholders. 

With the Olympics Games well underway, online sales for sports-related products are soaring on Alibaba’s cross-border marketplaces. We also look at some of the latest consumption trends and new digital-native professions that are taking off in China.

To receive the latest news directly in your inbox, sign up for the weekly Alizila newsletter.

Alibaba Group Chairman Daniel Zhang’s Thoughts on New Retail, Cloud Business and Corporate Culture

The company published its annual report on Tuesday for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021. In a letter to its shareholders, Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang touched upon key topics, including New Retail, a concept integrating digital and physical experiences; Alibaba Cloud as the world’s third-largest Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider and Alibaba’s governance structure in response to the evolving needs of its increasingly diversified and vibrant business. Click to read more.

How do major global sports events like the Olympics impact the world of e-commerce? Data showed that projectors was one of the fastest-growing categories on B2B cross-border marketplace Alibaba.com in the past three weeks, the company said Thursday.

In particular, portable, high-definition projectors with built-in Android systems were in high demand for people looking to watch the Olympic Games live on a big screen. The category grew 111% year-on-year on average in transaction volumes, with the Japanese market leading demand with an increase of 113% year on year.

Skateboards made their debut at this year’s Olympics as an official sport this year. As the sport gained popularity worldwide, so did demand for skateboards. The number of skateboard products on cross-border marketplace AliExpress doubled year on year. Additionally, the sales of roller skates jumped over 10 times year on year. Despite their high price tag of around $500, the demand for electric skateboards also skyrocketed this year from developed markets including Europe and the U.S..   

Other sports-related categories also showed positive growth on AliExpress, including gears and gadgets for hiking, golfing, water sports and cycling.

Alibaba Uses Cloud Technology to Reduce Heatstroke Risk during Tokyo 2020

The company announced a new cloud-based solution to help Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 onsite staff reduce the risk of getting heatstroke during Tokyo’s summer. Through an intelligent ear-worn device, the technology helps keep track of body temperatures and heart rates.

Based on the body temperature, heart rate and the environment index, a cloud-based system will identify the level of heatstroke risk in real time for individual working staff. Alerts will then be sent to those at high risk along with recommended precautionary measures – such as drinking more water.

The heat index in the surrounding environment including temperature, humidity and direct or radiant sunlight will be monitored through multiple heat stress WBGT (Wet Bulb Globe Temperature) meters set up at 14 Olympic competition venues.

What China’s affluent young urbanites want today will be mass-market tomorrow. This week, Alizila released key trends for global retail brands to note based on insights and data gathered from around e-commerce giant Alibaba Group’s ecosystem. The rise of wellness products and products serving as a medium for self-expression has launched a cohort of successful brands in China this year.

Click here to take a closer look at the top emerging trends in the world’s second-largest economy. 

Taobao Reveals 100+ New Professions Born Out of E-Commerce 

China’s largest online marketplace Taobao has unveiled more than 100 new professions that were created thanks to China’s booming e-commerce market. Young, creative Gen-Z and Millennials are discovering new employment opportunities such as:

  • Livestreaming hosts and other supportive functions, including live broadcast studio designers, merchandise selectors, and technicians 
  • Stuffed animal repairers, or “doll doctors,” who mend stuffed toys and restore childhood memories
  • Artists who transform old electronic gadgets into works of art

Currently, more than 200,000 merchants on Taobao are employed in such niche professions. The number of new merchants from the post-00s generation grew 3.5 times over the past three years.

Chinese Traditional Dress Meets Modern Day Runway in Shanghai 

Online B2C marketplace Tmall hosted its annual fashion event “the National Style Award” on Sunday to celebrate the revival of Hanfu, traditional Chinese dress, in Shanghai. More than 200 Hanfu bloggers debuted their latest custom designs at the event, which is considered the industry’s fashion week. 

For some, Hanfu is more than a fashion statement. The craftsmanship and cultural embodiment of this type of traditional style dress are becoming popular for China’s younger generations to express themselves and their cultural identities.

On the night of the event, China’s leading livestreamer and influencer Austin Li appeared in a special livestream in full Hanfu costume to share some of Taobao’s most innovative Hanfu-inspired products and fashion with millions of his fans online. 

E-commerce platforms like Tmall and Taobao have played a role in connecting niche fashion trends with fans. In 2020, more than 1,200 new Hanfu brands joined Tmall, with its annual sales growing nearly 500% year over year on the platform. 

To receive the latest news directly in your inbox, sign up for the weekly Alizila newsletter.

Alibaba.comAliExpressConsumer TrendsDaniel ZhangOlympicsTaobaoYoung Designers

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

For the latest news and updates from Alizila, please subscribe to our newsletter.