This week, Tmall Global, Alibaba Group’s B2C cross-border online marketplace, launched measures to help merchants mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
In other news, Chinese consumers can expect to see more Mexican products available on Alibaba platforms than ever before, thanks to a newly inked agreement with the country’s government.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Alibaba’s cloud computing arm cut the red ribbon on its first data center in Thailand.
Tmall Global Ups Support for Cross-Border Trade Ahead of 6.18 Campaign
The pandemic has disrupted commerce, leading to shipping delays and increased operating costs. Tmall Global is allowing merchants to accept payments before users confirm receipt. It is also providing new merchants with marketing support and lower commissions.
To address supply-chain logjams, it is also coordinating with Alibaba’s logistics arm Cainiao Network to ensure stable and smooth delivery of goods. For example, Cainiao will help divert some ships bound for Shanghai to other cities and secure alternative air routes for cross-border merchants.
Tmall Global will allow merchants hit by the logistics logjam a longer time to handle customer refunds and exempt them from delayed shipment penalties.
Alibaba Platforms Ready for Uptick in Mexican Exports
Cue the music and get ready for a fiesta as the Mexican government and Alibaba tightened ties this week to ramp up the online presence of small Mexican merchants in China.
On Monday, Alibaba and the National Governors’ Conference of Mexico signed a memorandum of understanding under the electronic World Trade Platform framework – a private sector-led, multi-stakeholder initiative founded by Alibaba in 2016.
“We hope to build on the success of the current cooperation and carry it on to greater heights in developing Mexico’s digital economy in the future,” said Jiang Fan, the President of Alibaba Global Digital Commerce.
Alibaba will offer digital capacity-building training programs for local SMEs across 32 states while providing comprehensive cross-border trade solutions for Mexico’s broader business community on Alibaba’s B2B and B2C platforms.
The group started working with local businesses in 2017 and has brought roughly 1,500 local companies online with its “Mexican Digital Village” program.
Alibaba is also looking to build the next generation of digital leaders in Mexico. More than 400 lecturers and 8,000 students in the country are now involved with the Alibaba Global Digital Talent Program, which looks to share business practices and experiences from China with the world.
Alibaba Cloud Launches Data Center in Thailand
The cloud computing arm of Alibaba launched its first data center in Thailand this week to support local businesses’ digital transformation.
As a nerve center for Alibaba Cloud services in the region, the center will help businesses in Thailand to access security products like firewalls and anti-DDoS tools that can prevent a website or network infrastructure shutdown, which are crucial to keeping online retail running smoothly.
“Data security and protection remain our top priority as we continue to expand,” said Tyler Qiu, Thailand’s country manager, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence. “In addition, we want to bring our best technology offerings, as well as our vertical know-how to Thailand.”
The launch coincides with the country’s first data legislation, the “Thailand Personal Data Protection Act”, which comes into force in June. With the data center in place, Alibaba will be able to provide compliance assessments for local businesses under this new rule.
The business unit has obtained about 80 security and data privacy certifications worldwide and helped fix more than 7.3 million vulnerabilities per year. Its data centers operate in 27 regions globally.
Cainiao and Ele.me Keep China’s Sick Safe and Supplied
Alibaba delivery service Ele.me and Cainiao are working to fill gaps and bridge distances as the latest Omicron outbreak upends healthcare services for China’s most vulnerable.
For instance, infants with rare diseases need special milk powder to ensure optimum nutrition. To keep families stocked, Cainiao delivered formula to 50 children in need during the first week of May, leveraging supply channels between Shanghai and Nanjing.
“The whole family will sleep soundly after the life-saving milk powder arrived,” said a mother from Jiangsu Province in a statement.
Ele.me has also been busy. It created a team of 67 people to ensure food bags arrived on around 1,000 residents’ doorsteps in Chaoyang district, Beijing.
A Cut Above: Meet the French Brand Disrupting China’s Diamond Market
French start-up Courbet is shaking up the diamond industry, shattering myths and offering eco-friendly, more affordable alternatives in the form of lab-grown jewels.
“We were driven by our values to create this brand [because] nothing is changing in the jewelry industry,” Courbet co-founder Marie-Ann Wachtmeister told Alizila.
The global mined diamond industry is highly polluting as miners dig deeper and deeper into the earth for their bounty. At the same time, the gems change hands many times before reaching consumers, raising both the stones’ financial and ethical costs.
Man-made diamonds produced in laboratories present an alternative that Courbet is bringing to China as it expands outside France for the first time.
“China has a true need for green products anchored in their everyday life, where they suffer from pollution and the environmental consequences of climate change and consumption,” said Wachtmeister, who is also Courbet’s creative director.
Prepare to be dazzled here with the full story
Work @ Alibaba – AliCloud Training Instructor Jeremy Pedersen
Cloud computing specialist Jeremy Pedersen from Delaware has come a long way since landing seven years ago in Beijing without knowing a word of Chinese.
Today, Jeremy calls the country home. He is the son-in-law of a Northern Chinese family and gives training on Alibaba Cloud products in both English and Mandarin.
In this video, Jeremy shares his five-year experience working at Alibaba, what excites him the most at his work and how he navigates cultural differences.
Alibaba’s Deputy CPO Jane Jiang on People, Pandemic and the Future of Work
Alibaba is reimagining how and where we work during the pandemic, according to deputy Chief People Officer Jane Jiang.
“We’re exploring ways to tap into innovative tools or find new ways of working and team organization to foster connection between employees,” Jiang told Alizila.
That includes leveraging the company’s technological and digital production tools, such as DingTalk, Alilang and Booking, for online video conferences and instant messaging to maintain productivity while employees work from home.
The Alibaba community has weathered challenges brought on by the pandemic, a fact Jiang attributes to a strong workplace culture.
“In difficult times, we retain our people by providing opportunities and building up our organizational culture,” she explained. “It is the culture that binds people together.”
Explore the future of work here
Alibaba’s Staff Tune in to Group’s AliDay, Building Connections and Community During Pandemic
Alibaba on Tuesday celebrated its annual staff get-together, dubbed AliDay, building connections between employees globally.
There was a carnival atmosphere at Alibaba’s main campus in Hangzhou, with game shows and teambuilding activities. Pop-up booths around the campus showcased employees’ experiences at the company and their philanthropic efforts.
“The most crucial element to Alibaba’s development is fostering an environment where our employees can become the best versions of themselves and, in so doing, allowing for a better Alibaba,” said Alibaba Group’s Chairman and CEO, Daniel Zhang to staff and their families in a meeting hosted at Alibaba’s main campus and livestreamed to families who couldn’t attend physically.
Read more here about AliDay
Work @ Alibaba – Yun Hyewon from Tmall Global
Yun Hyewon, part of Tmall Global’s overseas purchasing team for South Korean merchants, talks about her experiences working at Alibaba Group.
Starting out as an intern many years ago, she was attracted to Alibaba by the work culture and was keen to return to the fold.
With the support of her husband, and-then-boyfriend, she rejoined Alibaba in December 2020. The couple decided to settle down in Hangzhou, Alibaba’s headquarters, and hope to participate in AliDay’s group weddings next year.