Alibaba News Roundup: Chinese Hospitals Deploy DAMO Academy Cancer Screening Tool; Alibaba Cloud Cuts Prices; Global Program Supports Over 4,000 Entrepreneurs

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Alibaba News Roundup: Chinese Hospitals Deploy DAMO Academy Cancer Screening Tool; Alibaba Cloud Cuts Prices; Global Program Supports Over 4,000 Entrepreneurs

Photo credit: Alibaba Group

A cancer screening tool developed by Alibaba Group’s research arm DAMO Academy recently launched at hospitals in China, making it faster and more cost-effective to diagnose multiple types of malignancies.

In other news, Alibaba Cloud this week announced price reductions across many of its core products to encourage a broader uptake of cloud services.

And Alibaba has trained more than 4,000 entrepreneurs over the last seven years, according to a recent report released by Alibaba Global Initiatives (AGI).

DAMO Academy Cancer Diagnostic Tool Reports For Service

Two hospitals in Zhejiang province on China’s east coast announced their latest hires: an AI-powered diagnostic tool developed by Alibaba researchers to examine CT scans for signs of cancer.

The device takes less than three minutes to examine a patient’s CT scans, a third of the time it takes for a doctor to inspect scans themselves, according to a statement from DAMO Academy, a research program into cutting-edge technologies.

Since its unveiling last year, the tool’s use has expanded from identifying pancreatic cancer to detecting a range of cancers, including tumors of the liver, esophagus, colon and more.

For the time being, doctors at Lishui Central Hospital and Jingning County People’s Hospital in Zhejiang will use the tool to look for early signs of pancreatic cancer and osteoporosis.

But further deployment is on the horizon.

“Alibaba will continue to provide strong support for the digitalization and intelligent upgrading of medical care through digital technology and artificial intelligence,” Wang Wei, Vice President of Alibaba’s public welfare department, said in a statement.

This year’s Alibaba Philanthropy Awards, an annual ceremony celebrating outstanding charitable initiatives, also recognized the diagnostic tool for contributing to society.

Alibaba Cloud Announces Price Cuts on Core Products to Fuel AI Growth in China

This week, Alibaba Cloud cut prices on over 100 public cloud products by up to 55% to make cloud capabilities more accessible to corporate customers and developers in China.

The price reduction applies to orders placed via Alibaba Cloud official websites for a range of cloud products from Elastic Compute Service (ECS), Object Storage Service and database product categories, with an average 20% reduction.

“With the rapidly increasing amount of data in China, businesses will need robust, high performance and cost-effective computing power to help handle and analyze the data before turning them into actionable intelligence,” said Liu Weiguang, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence’s President of Public Cloud Business.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) using cloud server ECS u1 Instance -2C4G for a five-year package will save 36% with the price reduction. Users of database products will also cut 40% of their costs when opting for the five-year plan for the on-demand database hosting service ApsaraDB RDS for MySQL-1C2G.

Alibaba Cloud also rolled out special annual packages of RMB99 ($13.76) and RMB199 for its elastic computing products. Individual developers and SMEs can tap the entry-level elastic computing products to handle tasks such as the development of small-to-medium scale websites, software development testing, mini-apps or applications developments.

Alibaba Cloud said the price adjustment aims to unleash the potential of China’s digital market while making cloud capabilities more inclusive and accessible in the AI era.

The cloud computing company previously announced in 2023 that it’s cutting the prices for products such as cloud computing, storage, database and security.

“We aim to become the most open cloud and help our customers to turn AI into productivity,” said Liu.

AGI Supports Thousands of Entrepreneurs Worldwide: Report

As of the end of 2023, AGI’s Alibaba Global Innovation and Development Initiative Program has served 140 public policymakers and more than 4,000 entrepreneurs in more than 70 countries and regions around the world.

As a public welfare training project, the Global Innovation and Development Initiative’s courses are taught by senior experts from Alibaba Group and senior practitioners in the industry.

The program said that 31% of the students are from e-commerce trade-related fields, and the rest are from agriculture, logistics, retail and marketing. Young entrepreneurs under the age of 35 account for 48%.

Before 2019, the most discussed topic among students from all continents in the class was “whether digitalization is necessary.” Three years after the epidemic, the discussion in the class changed to “how to better carry out digitalization locally.”

Learn more about Alibaba’s philanthropic activities

Virtual Avatars Tmall China 2024

From Niche to Necessary: The Rise of AI-Powered Virtual Avatars in Chinese E-Commerce

China’s digital avatars come in various guises, from sign-language translators to TV actors to social media influencers.

On Alibaba’s e-commerce platform, Tmall, they wear the hat of a sales associate and can be summoned at a click to answer shoppers’ questions.

“To be competitive on Tmall, a brand needs to be using the latest technology, and right now, that’s virtual avatars,” Joanna Zhou, China Commercial Manager at Holland & Barret, told Alizila.

Read the full story now


Blockbuster “YOLO” Sparks Boxing Craze in China

The success of comedy feature film “YOLO” has spurred boxing equipment sales across China as consumers look to punch their way to fitness and empowerment.

Chinese comedienne Jia Ling has captivated audiences by writing, directing and starring in “YOLO” as an overweight and unemployed woman whose life turns around when she meets a boxing coach.

Since its debut on Feb. 10, the film has jumped from a silver-screen hit into a pop culture phenomenon. Inspired by Jia’s character, Le Ying, consumers are climbing into the ring.

Discover China’s latest wellness trend

AliExpress’ Choice Marks Birthday By Kicking Off a Shopping Sale

AliExpress kickstarted celebrations for the first anniversary of its Choice service on Friday with discounts on a selection of items tailored to local tastes.

While flossing devices were all the rage last year in the Gulf Cooperation Council member states like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, the platform noted a preference for fake eyelash products in Mexico and car cleaning items in Germany and Poland.

Choice users can snap up many of these goods for less during the anniversary promotion, when some goods will be up to 60% off.

See what’s trending in your neck of the woods

European SMEs Upbeat Despite Economic Gloom: Survey

Small and medium-sized enterprises in Europe’s three largest economies are feeling feistier about the future of their businesses, according to a survey by business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce platform

Over two-thirds of these businesses in the UK (68%), Germany (68%) and France (78%) said they were more positive about growth opportunities than they were this time last year, the inaugural B2B sentiment poll found.

But challenges remain, as business owners are operating in a tough economic climate.

Dig into insights from the survey

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