Alibaba News Roundup: Hermès Beats Quarterly Expectations Thanks to China; Pakistan’s First Smart Warehouses Unveiled; African Edition of Alibaba Netpreneur Program Kicks Off

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Alibaba News Roundup: Hermès Beats Quarterly Expectations Thanks to China; Pakistan’s First Smart Warehouses Unveiled; African Edition of Alibaba Netpreneur Program Kicks Off

Photo credit: Shutterstock



This week, global luxury house Hermès, available on Alibaba Group’s high-end marketplace Tmall Luxury Pavilion, saw sales leap in the third quarter on the back of increased interest from Chinese consumers.

In other news, Alibaba’s South Asia-focused e-commerce platform Daraz said it had completed construction of the first automated smart distribution centers in Pakistan, built in partnership with the group’s logistics arm Cainiao.

African entrepreneurs are getting an in-depth look at the digital economy as part of the Alibaba Netpreneur Training Program.

Hermès Q3 Sales Beat Market Forecasts On Strong China Growth

Hermès International’s third quarter sales jumped 24% to €3.14 billion ($3.1 billion) at constant exchange rates, boosted by its strong performance across Greater China.

The French luxury design house said sales in Asia excluding Japan leapt 34% in the quarter. 

Sales in Greater China picked up strongly, despite temporary closures due to coronavirus-related lockdowns in Macau, Chengdu and Dalian in July and August, said Paris-headquartered Hermès.

After the Pacific Place store in Hong Kong and One Central store in Macau at the beginning of the year, the Greenbelt Mall store in Manilla and Wuhan store in China reopened after renovation and extension in July.  

China particularly boosted its leather goods and saddlery division, up 13%.

Established in 1837, Hermès specializes in leather goods and its famous scarves. Its logo, since the 1950s, is of a Duke carriage with horse.

Daraz, Cainiao Build Pakistan’s First Smart Distribution Centers

Alibaba’s South Asian affiliated platform Daraz said it has constructed the country’s first automated smart distribution centers in Karachi and Lahore in cooperation with logistics service Cainiao.

Founded in 2015 and acquired by Alibaba in 2018, Daraz serves consumers in central and southern Asia by offering a B2C e-commerce marketplace to buy goods.

“Our partnership with Cainiao marks a milestone for not only us but Pakistan, as Daraz introduces smart technology in the country to bring more efficiency in our logistics,” Bjarke Mikkelsen, Daraz Group Chief Executive Officer and Founder, said in a statement this week.

The two facilities span over 50,000 sq. meters and are capable of processing over 400,000 orders per day.

Cainiao now has 10 smart distribution hubs around the world and operates hundreds of automated distribution centers.

“Our great confidence in the investment in Pakistan comes from its significant growth and high potential of digital sector, and strong support from local government in infrastructure and policy as well,” Dr. Ding Hongwei, General Manager, Cainiao, shared in a statement.

Netpreneur Training Program Launches Second African Edition

Alibaba Global Initiatives (AGI), Alibaba’s professional training arm enrolled the second class of more than 360 African entrepreneurs for its Alibaba Netpreneur Training program.

The sessions are conducted online in English by certified Alibaba trainers and business leaders who have built their own digital businesses.

“We hope this edition of our Alibaba Netpreneur Training will help entrepreneurs in Africa develop long-term, savvy digital strategies that will open up more opportunities for them,” said Dan Liu, Senior Advisor at AGI, in a statement.

The Alibaba Netpreneur Training Program launched in 2019 and has trained nearly 1,500 entrepreneurs in Africa, Europe, Latin America and Asia to date.

Participants who complete the program will receive an e-certificate and will be eligible to join the global AGI entrepreneur community. 

Roland Palmer
Roland Palmer sees online marketplaces helping exporters reach China. Photo credit: Alibaba Group

Q&A: Alibaba’s Roland Palmer On Why British Brands Are Launching In China

Roland Palmer is at the forefront of helping businesses crack the China market in his role as General Manager for the UK, Benelux and Nordic countries at Alibaba.

He took on the role less than a year ago and appears to be constantly on the move. Based in the Netherlands, he tours across his markets to meet clients, speak at events like the one in Manchester and talk about retailers’ digital journeys. 

We caught up with Palmer – no mean feat – ahead of China’s largest shopping festival 11.11, also known as Double 11 or Singles’ Day, to hear more about how companies can tap into China markets.

Read the interview here

How Luxury Brands Can Build A Loyal Fan Base During 11.11 Shopping Festival

Shopping festivals are evolving from discounting drives into an opportunity for brands to connect with new consumers and build a loyal fan base.

The 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, also known as Single’s Day in China, is the biggest retail event of them all and brands prepare months in advance to perfect their campaigns.

In this episode of Alicast, Kathy Jiang, Principal & Chief Researcher at global consultancy Roland Berger talks with Alizila’s Managing Editor, Alison Tudor-Ackroyd, about how luxury brands can maximize their investment in 11.11 to attract Chinese consumers.

“11.11 has already become the key moment for Chinese consumers to think about what to add to their shopping cart,” said Shanghai-based Jiang, so brands need a carefully crafted strategy.

Tune in on Spotify or Apple Podcasts, and read the interview here

Hungary’s Nanushka Launches on Alibaba’s Tmall, Opens Shanghai Store

Nanushka, the Budapest-based fashion house, said it has launched on Alibaba’s business-to-consumer marketplace Tmall and opened a store in Shanghai. 

The fast-growing brand, worn by Michelle Obama, Yang Mi and Billie Eilish, is out to make a big splash in China, targeting nine stores across the world’s second-largest economy by 2026.

“China continues to be at the very forefront of the luxury sector and presents a significant long-term opportunity for us,” Nanushka’s CEO Péter Baldaszti said in a statement on Monday.

The brand aims to have nine stores in Chinese Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities by 2026, at which point nearly half of its stores globally will be in the Middle Kingdom.  

Learn more about Nanushka’s expansion here

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