Alibaba News Roundup: Disney Collaborates With Freshippo; Cloud Makes Generative AI More Accessible; Taobao Livestreams Esports Final

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Alibaba News Roundup: Disney Collaborates With Freshippo; Cloud Makes Generative AI More Accessible; Taobao Livestreams Esports Final

Photo credit: Alibaba Group

This week, Alibaba Group’s high-tech grocer Freshippo said it has teamed up with American entertainment company Disney to co-create a range of products for the China market.

In other news, Alibaba Cloud released two open-source large language models to encourage wider adoption of generative AI tools. The models will be freely available to small companies.

And watch out, esports fans! A major battle in the multiplayer game “Honor of Kings” will play out this Saturday via Taobao Live.

Freshippo Partners with Disney On Product Line in Greater China

Freshippo announced a tie-up with entertainment conglomerate The Walt Disney Company this week, with around 100 products in the pipeline over the coming year.

The partnership combines Disney’s intellectual property and Freshippo’s local reach to sell a range of sweet and savory dishes, from alien-shaped glutinous rice dumplings to Lotso bear mochi.

“Next, we hope to bring the IP of a household name from the theater to the dining tables of Freshippo customers, drawing on our experience of producing popular items, creating unlimited possibilities for our customers and the retail industry,” Freshippo’s Chief Merchandising Officer Jiayu Zhao said in a statement.

Organic products will account for a large portion of the collaboration. These include organic eggs from Freshippo Village farms printed with a Mickey Mouse portrait on the shells and specially shaped carrots inspired by the animated movie Zootopia.

Dig deeper into China’s grocery sector

Alibaba Cloud Releases Open-Source Large Language Model to Make Generative AI Accessible 

Alibaba Cloud said on Thursday that it’s releasing two open-source large language models to enable developers and small-and-medium enterprises to leverage the power of generative AI. 

Its pre-trained 7-billion-parameter large language model Qwen-7B, and its conversationally finetuned version, Qwen-7B-Chat, are available for download on Alibaba Cloud’s AI model community ModelScope and the collaborative AI platform Hugging Face.

“By open-sourcing our proprietary large language models, we aim to promote inclusive technologies and enable more developers and SMEs to reap the benefits of generative AI,” Alibaba Cloud Intelligence’s CTO Zhou Jingren said in a release. 

Users can also download the model’s starting code, model weights, and documentation and use them freely for research purposes.

The move allows developers, researchers and commercial organizations to finetune the models and build their generative AI models more cost-effectively. Companies with fewer than 100 million monthly active users can use the models for free. Programs with over 100 million monthly active users can request a license from Alibaba Cloud. 

Discover more stories from the world of AI

Honor Of Kings Taobao 1
Honor of Kings is one of the most popular online games and is played during esports competitions. Photo credit: Honor of Kings Facebook page

Taobao Live to Air’ Honor of Kings’ Esports Tournament Final

Livestreaming e-commerce platform Taobao Live will host the final round of the Tencent-developed mobile game “Honor of Kings” this weekend, marking the first time the game has streamed on the site.

Taobao and Tencent jointly launched the video gaming tourney last month, inviting select esports players to face off in the multiplayer online battle arena game, which users can watch in real-time on livestreams.

“Honor of Kings” claims to be the world’s most-played mobile multiplayer online battle arena game, with 100 million daily players.

Learn more about how esports are gaining traction

Barbie-mania Colors Chinese Wardrobes Pink As Movie-Related Searches Spike On Alibaba

Movie-goers in China have poured out of theatres and scoured Alibaba Group’s e-commerce platforms, the largest retail commerce business worldwide, for Barbie and her signature pink outfits. 

The average daily Barbie-related search volume on Alibaba’s Taobao app leaped by over 760% between the movie’s release on July 21 and July 26 compared with the previous week. Among the phrases typed into Taobao’s search bar, “Barbie-style outfits” soared 1,146% over the same time frame.

Barbie doll sales on Taobao jumped in lock-step with the movie’s success. Since the film was released, the daily average volume of people entering the official Tmall Barbie flagship store has swollen by more than 400%, and sales have nearly doubled.

Get the full scoop

Alibaba Cloud Unveils Database Update for Generative AI

Alibaba Cloud is building a suite of digital tools and platforms to help corporate customers leverage generative AI technology, executives shared during the company’s Data Management Summit in Jakarta last week.

The cloud computing company added a vector engine to its AnalyticDB data warehousing service, enabling corporate clients to build custom generative AI applications faster.

“To make the best use of large language models and general AI technologies, you need more than just large language models alone. You need a suite of technology working in harmony, hand in hand,” said Li Feifei, President of Database Products Business at Alibaba Cloud, during a panel discussion at the summit on July 25.

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