The Alibaba News Roundup is a weekly digest of events and happenings across the company. This week, we look at brands rolling out new promotions on Alibaba platforms for the Chinese New Year. Also covered is Alibaba Cloud’s announcement of digital training programs for university students and partners in Asia to support their digital transformation opportunities. And we look at Alibaba Health’s new app that helps people find nearby Covid-19 testing locations.
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Alibaba Business Units Gear Up for Year of the Ox
Sales of nuts, nibbles and majhong tables have started to pick up on Taobao as shoppers lay in provisions for the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday. Tmall Global – which also kicked off its CNY shopping festival this week – said more global merchants and brands than ever have participated in the event this year. To celebrate the occasion, some brands launched special gift sets for Chinese consumers. Fenty Beauty launched a limited-edition coffret (box set) that includes its bestselling highlighter and lip gloss. Tmall Luxury Pavilion also saw close to 130 labels, including Cartier, Gucci and Valentino, release new products on the dedicated platform for luxury and designer brands. Chinese New Year is a peak season for logistics. As such, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has ramped up measures to ensure reliable delivery throughout this period, pledging it will be business as usual across nearly 200 Chinese cities, despite heightened demand and more shipments than usual. Additionally, Cainiao, Tmall and Taobao have earmarked more than RMB200 million as extra compensation for couriers who remain on duty over the holiday season.
Alibaba Cloud Supports Asian Businesses on Technology and Talent Development
Alibaba Cloud is doubling down on digital training programs across Asia to get enterprises cloud-ready in the new year. Its longstanding tech initiatives such as Alibaba Cloud Academy and Alibaba Cloud Academic Empowerment Program provide tech trainings to university students and get them ready for the digital world. IT professionals in the region who wish to deepen their cloud-related skill sets can sign up for online courses and get certified through Alibaba Cloud’s digital talent training program. In 2021, the company said it has plans to introduce additional education programs and courses with more partners in the region. This effort is to help accelerate digital transformation in areas hard-hit by the pandemic and to empower local workforces with knowledge and insights related to cloud-based technology, artificial intelligence and data analytics.
Alibaba Health Launches Digital Map of Covid-19 Test Sites
On Friday, Alibaba Group’s healthcare arm launched a new feature within its “Dr. Deer” app to help people find Covid-19 testing locations near them. This comes as a surge of Covid cases in parts of the country have led China to impose strict coronavirus testing requirements ahead of the Chinese New Year, when tens of millions of people typically travel back home to spend the holiday with their families. Users of the Dr. Deer app can now find and make appointments at a nearby health facility, access their test results and stay updated on the travel policies of different cities. Earlier this month, Alibaba Health also started piloting “at your doorstep” testing services in select cities across China, allowing people to use Dr. Deer or the Alipay e-wallet to get tested at home.
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