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Alibaba News Roundup: Festive Meal Deals Surge & A Global Culinary Journey Streamed on Fliggy

The Alibaba News Roundup is a weekly digest of events and happenings across the company. This week, we look at Alibaba.com‘s double-digit growth in the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2020. Featured are rising online restaurant meal offerings for delivery during the coming Chinese New Year holiday, a change from the pre-pandemic festive dining-out scene. We have news about diplomats in China from around the world livestreaming on Fliggy to promote local dishes in the run-up to the CNY. And we share news about the newest store openings on Tmall and the Tmall Luxury Pavilion.

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Alibaba’s International Wholesale Business Grew 53% Amidst Pandemic  

Alibaba.com notched double-digit growth in the quarter ended Dec. 31, 202, according to the group’s latest quarterly earnings released this week. The B2B e-commerce platform was also one of the top-performing businesses in the group during the period. It generated RMB3,762 million (US$577 million) in revenue, a year-on-year increase of 53%. During the pandemic, Alibaba.com saw its paid member numbers surge as offline disruptions challenged SMEs to think beyond traditional sales channels. To this end, the site expanded its value-added services, such as international shipping and logistics, as well as hands-on support, to help SMEs quickly take their businesses online. As a result, Alibaba.com’s annual transaction volume more than doubled year-on-year in 2020.

Online Meal Set Offers Spike Ahead of Chinese New Year
With local governments urging people not to travel this Chinese New Year – and “celebrate in place” – to curtail the spread of the virus, restaurants are expecting a boom in online deliveries over the period.  According to the latest figures from Ele.me, holiday meal offers have surged nearly threefold from last year, and the app saw a 260% rise in the number of stores serving up festive meals for delivery. Separately, Ele.me recently launched a new hiring section within the app to help food-and-beverage merchants recruit workers during the expected holiday delivery spike. In the past month, nearly 1,200 companies have already tapped the feature to advertise their openings and have attracted more than 10,000 applications from jobseekers. Ele.me is also recruiting more than 15,000 temporary staff to support its deliveries across key cities, including Shanghai and Beijing. 

Diplomats Livestream on Fliggy to Take Chinese Consumers on Culinary Experience 

This week, diplomats in China from Belgium, Rwanda, Thailand and Malaysia are livestreaming on Alibaba’s travel platform, Fliggy, to take Chinese consumers on a culinary journey by showing how to cook traditional dishes. The ambassadors used the opportunity to entertain viewers who cannot travel due to restrictions by introducing famous tourist destinations, festive customs and local produce. Belgium, Malaysia and Rwanda are part of a growing list of eWTP participants, an Alibaba-led initiative that helps small and medium-sized enterprises do business globally. 

Gucci Beauty Joins Tmall Luxury Pavilion 

Gucci’s beauty line officially launched on Alibaba Group’s dedicated platform for luxury and designer brands this week, offering the brand’s full range of make-up and fragrances to the more than 770 million consumers on the site. Operated by license partner Coty, the digital flagship will complement its growing brick-and-mortar footprint and make for a “quicker, slicker and safer” shopping environment for Chinese consumers to engage with the brand. The launch also follows the opening of Gucci’s first flagship store, dedicated to fashion collections, in December.

Santoni Opens Tmall Flagship in China Push

On Monday, Italian shoe brand Santoni unveiled its digital store on Alibaba Group’s B2C e-commerce platform, Tmall. It features the luxury footwear brand’s men’s and women’s collections as well as a new capsule collection, marking the upcoming Year of the Ox. Santoni CEO Giuseppe Santoni said Covid-19 has accelerated the company’s plans to expand its digital presence in China. Preparations leading up to the collection launch took the brand just four months, while it used to take them about 12 months. “This partnership with Tmall will allow us to reach the Chinese customers, engage them with our authentic story of legacy and excellence and let them love our brand in an innovative and engaging way,” Santoni said.

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Editor’s note, 02.09.21: This article has been corrected to reflect the accurate figure for the growth of holiday meal offers on Ele.me. 

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