The Alibaba News Roundup is a weekly digest of events, initiatives and happenings across the company. This week covers the arrival of more crucial medical supplies to countries around the world as well as the release of additional translations of the Covid-19 Prevention and Treatment Handbook, which was written by frontline medical experts in China. We also look at how international brands are turning to creative, digital solutions in the face of offline disruptions caused by the global pandemic.
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This week saw the arrival of crucial coronavirus-relief supplies to countries across Africa and Asia. Following last week’s announcement by the Jack Ma Foundation and the Alibaba Foundation to provide aid to all 54 nations on the African continent, more than 6 million medical supplies – including masks, test kits, protective clothing and face shields – arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on March 22 to be further distributed to other nations. First batches of donated medical items also made their way to countries across Asia, including Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand.
Last week, the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation announced the release of the Covid-19 Prevention and Treatment Handbook, which details learnings and best practices from medical staff who worked on the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak at the First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine. Within the first five days of publication, the Chinese and English versions of the handbook attracted 1.4 million views. To make this knowledge-sharing resource more accessible to affected communities and healthcare providers around the world, additional translations were made available this week. These languages include French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Persian, Serbian, Spanish and Turkish.
As the coronavirus outbreak continues to disrupt offline business operations across the world, an increasing number of international brands have turned to the online tools and platforms across Alibaba’s ecosystem to reach their consumers. During the height of the epidemic in China, sales and digital marketing platform Juhuasuan launched a program dedicated to bringing shoppers the best deals using Alibaba’s heavy consumer subsidies and personal-recommendation algorithms. This week, global brands such as Vans, Champion, Elizabeth Arden, Maybelline and Dairy Queen tapped this program to promote their products at half price to Chinese consumers. Similarly, last Saturday, automobile dealers for brands such as Chevrolet, Volvo, Buick and Maserati launched a livestreamed group-buying session, offering some models at 40% discounts. These efforts are the latest examples of brands embracing digital technologies in the face of the coronavirus onslaught.
Huda Beauty, one of the hottest cosmetics brands from the Middle East, on Wednesday opened its flagship store on Tmall Global. The brand was launched in 2013 by beauty blogger Huda Kattan, who was named one of Time Magazine’s 25 most influential people on the internet in 2017. Huda Beauty is only one of the latest names to join Alibaba’s B2C e-commerce platforms. Popular streetwear brand A Bathing Ape – also known as Bape – celebrated the launch of its first Tmall flagship destination with a limited-edition crossover collection with leatherware specialist Coach and attracted more than 35,000 fans on its opening day. LA-born sneaker boutique and apparel brand Undefeated also joined Tmall, marking the occasion with the release of its co-branded Nike Air Max 90 sneakers in a range of exclusive colors. Earlier this month, luxury fashion labels Prada and Miu Miu made their debuts on Tmall and Tmall Luxury Pavilion, Alibaba’s dedicated e-commerce channel for premium brands.
Taobao officially launched a designated app for direct-from-factory deals. The e-commerce platform said the new app, dubbed “Taobao Deals,” spotlights consumer-driven product innovations at competitive prices and is a part of its push to help traditional manufacturers digitize. Taobao said one of its key goals is to bring 10 billion new orders to factories across China in the next three years. Separately, the first-ever Taobao Live Shopping Festival kicked off on March 21. Hosted on the livestreaming platform, the week-long sales event promoted products from global beauty brands, like Estée Lauder, to rural farmers.