This week, online travel platform Fliggy launched seven initiatives to encourage growth among tourism-related businesses of all sizes in China.
In other news, international startup battle Jumpstarter announced the top 30 contenders in this year’s competition.
And e-commerce business Taobao and Tmall Group merged retail and AI this week with the release of a large language model training framework for public use.
New Merchant Support Initiatives Land At Fliggy
As domestic and international travel picks up among Chinese consumers, Fliggy is working with merchants on its platform to help them make the most of this opportunity.
Among other measures, Fliggy will waive joining fees for local resort industry businesses, offer online consultations to new merchants and connect them with regional tourism departments for offline training courses.
“Merchants will develop better, the ecosystem will grow more prosperous and the platform can better meet the diversified travel needs of consumers,” said Zhao Lei, Vice President of Fliggy, in a statement.
Fliggy is also leaning on technology to solve common merchant dilemmas, such as difficulties in matching supply with demand, which it is addressing with two indices to boost customer acquisition. Since launching these two tools, the weekly search and purchase conversion rate of group tour products increased by more than 20%, according to platform analytics.
In addition, small and medium-sized enterprises looking to expand their operations will be able to work with the platform to secure low-interest financial support from select banks.
For more established merchants, the platform will offer incentives, preferential rebates and commission schemes as more consumers buy their products.
Jumpstarter 2023 Releases Top 30 Line Up
Global pitch competition Jumpstarter unveiled this year’s final 30 contestants, who will battle for a share of up to $5 million in investment money and HK$1 million ($127,000) in cash.
The finalists will appear next at a grand finale event in Hong Kong in November, where they will make their last pitches to the judges for a share of the investment and cash pool, as well as access to mentorship opportunities and more.
Meanwhile, one grand prize winner will also receive HK$300,000 as a cash prize.
The top 30 contestants will come for the final stage of competition from as far as the Cayman Islands and Israel, and as near as Singapore. They represent a variety of industries, from biotech and healthcare to sustainability and robotics.
Taobao and Tmall Group Cut Ribbon On LLM Training Tool
The e-commerce business, in collaboration with another Alibaba unit, is releasing an open-source LLM training framework named Megatron-LLaMA to simplify the training of AI models.
Taobao and Tmall Group, in partnership with Aicheng Technology, released the distributed training solution this week to the mass market.
It is often expensive for developers to try out their own designs, as training or fine-tuning an LLM requires powerful computational resources, and typically, GPUs with a large memory or distributed clusters composed of multi-GPU devices are essential for training LLMs.
In a separate move, Alibaba’s cloud computing unit, Alibaba Cloud opened Tongyi Qianwen to the public via its official website and for enterprises via the Tongyi API. Previously, the proprietary model was only available to a limited cohort of users during beta testing.
What else happened this week? Browse the stories we’ve published in the last five days to discover more breaking news from across the Alibaba Group ecosystem.
- 10 blockbusters backed by Alibaba Pictures generated over half of the summer box office
- Events also picking up post-pandemic, with new art and music festivals launched
- Ant is testing the LLM with financial institutions on its wealth management and insurance platforms
- The company also launched two apps, Zhixiaobao 2.0 and Zhixiaozhu 1.0, for finance professionals
- The e-commerce platform is Türkiye’s first startup to be valued at $16.5 billion
- Trendyol’s order growth rocketed about 47% YoY in the 12 months ended March 31
- Alibaba Cloud opens Tongyi Qianwen to the public; Taobao and Tmall Group open source an LLM training framework
- Alibaba plans to embed the large language model into apps and products across its ecosystem
- Cloud-based systems to help the Games’ shrink physical footprint
- Alibaba Cloud’s early-warning system to help keep Asian Games villages safe
- Dingtalk is an enterprise super app created by Alibaba
- It is equipped with an AI assistant powered by Alibaba Cloud’s large model Tongyi Qianwen