Alibaba News Roundup: Preparing for China’s Holiday Rush

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Alibaba News Roundup: Preparing for China’s Holiday Rush

The countdown to China’s five-day Labor Day holiday begins this week. To get ready for the crucial holiday, Alibaba rolled out dedicated campaigns, spanning retail, travel and entertainment. Additionally, Taobao Live looked back at achievements over the past year and unveiled new goals for 2021. We also highlighted Tmall’s plans to dispatch selective divisions to Shanghai and Cainiao’s launch of seven weekly chartered flights from Singapore to China’s southern province of Hainan.

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Fliggy Launches ‘Blind-Boxed’ Flights Ahead of Labor Day Holiday
Ongoing global travel restrictions will likely keep most Chinese travelers at home during the upcoming holiday, which normally would be a popular time to travel overseas. According to China’s Xinhua news agency, domestic trips between May 1-4, including flights, attraction tickets and hotel bookings, will significantly surpass that of last year. It expects approximately 250 million trips to take place domestically within China. To meet this soaring domestic-tourism demand, Alibaba’s travel-services platform Fliggy launched a new interactive feature inspired by China’s “blind box” craze, where users can virtually unwrap a holiday flight for just RMB66 ($10). Participants can win tickets valued as high as RMB2000. This element of surprise and spontaneity has attracted novelty-loving millennials who make up over 80% of the participants thus far. 

Freshippo Brings Holiday Coupons and New Store Format to Shanghai 
Alibaba’s New Retail-powered supermarket Freshippo will distribute RMB1.2 billion worth of coupons to use during the May 5 Shopping Festival, a consumption-stimulating campaign initiated by the Shanghai government. Freshippo’s Shanghai locations – including its new membership-only warehouse club Freshippo X, or Store X for short – look to bring together special offerings from about 500 participating merchants and serve more than 10 million visitors over the holiday. Freshippo launched Store X last November. This pilot store delivers a two-part experience for shoppers, featuring a cross-border import showroom and a warehouse-style store. The 18,000-plus square-meter mega membership store offers a growing inventory of roughly 2,000 types of products, covering everything from imported snacks, regional specialties, home electronics to baked goods and the freshest catch of the day. 

Shanghai Freshippo X Store

Alibaba Doubling Down on Low-Carbon Technology
Alibaba Group declared its long-term commitment to sustainable development. In February, it issued a US$1 billion sustainability bond over a 20-year period that will fund projects across key sectors, such as green buildings, energy efficiency, renewable energy and the circular economy. The move marks the first time an internet company in Asia has issued such a bond. Click here to read more about how the company has been working to make its operations “greener.”

Alibaba Fuses Digital Stores with Livestreaming
As livestream e-commerce continues to heat up, Taobao Live outlined a series of measures this week for brands to supercharge their growth through its immersive technology. The platform will soon launch customizable “live stores.” Brands will be able to display their streams prominently on their store homepage and can also tailor special experiences for different tiers of customers. Amid the growing popularity of the platform, Taobao Live has continuously rolled out new, experimental New Retail experiences within its streams, including artificial intelligence-powered hosts, augmented-reality beauty tests, 3D home decoration and mix-and-match features for clothing.

Tmall Moves Divisions to Shanghai
Alibaba Group’s B2C online marketplace Tmall revealed plans this week to move key teams from its Hangzhou headquarters to Shanghai. The company said Tmall’s beauty and sports and outdoors departments and its consumer-operations unit will be among the first to move to China’s commercial capital, allowing them to work more closely with its brand partners. “The launch of our Shanghai hub marks a new beginning,” said Tmall Vice President Yang Guang, who oversees the new hub. “Our staff will be able to make more frequent visits to clients and help solve their problems then and there.”

Cainiao Launches Singapore-Hainan Flights to Meet Surging Luxury Demand
Alibaba Group’s logistics unit Cainiao Network has launched seven weekly chartered flights for shipping international goods from Singapore to duty-free shops in Hainan’s Free Trade Zone via its travel hotspots in Sanya and Haikou. Comprising five weekly Haikou-Singapore direct flights and twice weekly Singapore-Sanya-Guangzhou flights, both routes aim to meet the growing demand for imported luxury and beauty brands in China, with consumption in Hainan increasing 244% year over year between last July  and this April. The company also expects the new flights to support trilateral trade among Singapore, Hainan and China’s Greater Bay Area.

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