The Alibaba News Roundup is a weekly digest of events and happenings across the company. This week, we look at how the group’s businesses are practicing digital transformation in retail, tourism and logistics. Also covered is the announcement of the top 10 finalists for the second annual Africa’s Business Heroes competition organized by the Jack Ma Foundation.
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The global pandemic has hastened many of the changes that were already underway in fashion and luxury, with many brands coming around to embrace digital. Alibaba Group’s Tmall Luxury Pavilion has been at the forefront of luxury shopping’s digital evolution over the past three years, allowing brands to bring the same custom-tailored experience and sense of exclusivity from their brick-and-mortar stores to Chinese online shoppers. Click here to read more.
Swiss watchmaker Chopard on Tuesday launched its online boutique on Tmall Luxury Pavilion. The store features the brand’s emblematic watch and jewelry collections as well as Tmall-exclusive editions of its Happy Hearts and Happy Sport series. “To keep up with China’s fast-developing online shopping segment, we are working to further improve our e-commerce offerings,” said Chopard Co-President Caroline Scheufele. “With the Chopard flagship store opening on Tmall, we hope to offer even more fascinating products and diverse services to our Chinese customers.”
Alibaba Group President Michael Evans on Thursday discussed the company’s international response to Covid-19 during a webinar hosted by the National Retail Federation. During the hourlong session, which was part of the NRF’s Retail Leadership Series, Evans and NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay discussed how the pandemic has altered the retail industry and how Alibaba differentiates itself in an increasingly complex environment. Click here to watch the full webinar and here to learn more about the NRF Retail Leadership Series.
Alibaba.com announced an integration with ShipStation, a leading e-commerce shipping solutions provider based in Texas. The integration will give U.S. B2B merchants greater access to shipping software and discounted courier rates, meaning faster, easier and more affordable shipping for business customers. The collaboration also comes with cross-promotional marketing, matchmaking services and audience-development support for brands in Alibaba.com and ShipStation’s networks.
Alibaba’s travel-services platform Fliggy announced a collaboration with Japan’s West Japan Railway Company to bring popular tourist attractions in Kyoto online to Chinese netizens. The livestreamed tourism series kicked off last Friday with a virtual tour of the districts of Sagano and Arashiyama, the latter of which is home to the famed Bamboo Grove. The livestream attracted more than 100,000 users in the first minute of its broadcast, according to Fliggy. The program is the latest example of Alibaba using technology to bring cultural activities to the public amid coronavirus lockdowns and travel restrictions. Fliggy previously hosted livestreamed tours of the Palace of Versailles in France, the British Museum in London and, most recently, the Louvre in Paris.
Alibaba’s logistics arm Cainiao has teamed up with Russian Post to step up capabilities to track the status of parcel shipments in real time. The technology has helped double the speed of deliveries to major Russian cities and reduce overall undelivered AliExpress orders to 3%-5%. Separately, Cainiao announced that customers in South America could soon receive parcels from China in as fast as three days, thanks to a new charter program launched in collaboration with Atlas Air. Starting November, Atlas Air will operate three weekly charter flights linking Brazil and Chile with China. Set to operate about 1,300 chartered flights by year’s end, Cainiao stressed its commitment to facilitating airfreight and supply-chain efficiency worldwide.
This week, the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative unveiled the top 10 finalists for its second annual Africa’s Business Heroes, a competition organized by the Jack Ma Foundation to identify and recognize the continent’s top entrepreneurs. Click here to read more about this year’s finalists.
Global communications giant WPP and its market research unit Kantar recognized Alibaba as China’s most-valuable brand for the second consecutive year in its BrandZ report. The ranking, announced on Thursday, recognized Alibaba for making cross-border retail more accessible, especially for low-tier markets and small businesses. The announcement comes several months after BrandZ ranked Alibaba second in its annual Top 75 Most Valuable Global Retail Brands list. David Roth, chairman of BrandZ and CEO of The Store WPP EMEA and Asia, recently sat down with Alizila to share his insights Alibaba’s role in retail, especially when it comes to the shopping-festival phenomenon.
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