The Alibaba News Roundup is a weekly digest of events and happenings across the company. This week’s coverage looks at how online trade shows are facilitating global trade amid Covid-19. Also covered is a livestreamed travel series that features tourist hotspots such as the Palace of Versailles.
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Alibaba.com on Monday launched its first-ever Home and Health Online Trade Show. To help B2B companies overcome disruptions caused by Covid-19, the event recreates the elements of a physical trade show in an online environment. Running until May 24, the event features immersive, 3D exhibition hall and booths; presentations by industry leaders; and livestreaming sessions to facilitate foreign trade. The inaugural show is open to domestic suppliers and global buyers and is part of a roster of 20 online trade shows planned by Alibaba.com this year.
It’s a busy time for Alibaba.com. Aside from launching its first online trade show this week, the B2B platform said it had helped with the sourcing and distribution of close to 26 million pieces of personal protective equipment to countries outside of China in the ongoing fight against Covid-19. Alibaba.com was able to reach this milestone with its direct procurement and supply program, which provides specialized support to large-scale buyers, including international healthcare systems, looking to source high-quality PPE. The program leverages resources across Alibaba’s digital economy, including sourcing and verification support from the company’s online grocer, Tmall Supermarket, as well as the delivery capabilities of Cainiao, Alibaba’s smart logistics network.
The Electronic World Trade Platform teamed up with Alibaba’s cross-border e-commerce site Tmall Global on Thursday for a special livestreamed program to drive sales for global brands impacted by the pandemic. Vera Songwe, under-secretary-general of the United Nations and executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, Rwanda’s Ambassador to China James Kimonyo, as well as trade officials from Chile and Belgium were present to promote the importance of global trade. Among the brands featured was Gorilla’s Coffee from Rwanda, which sold out its stock of 3,000 bags of coffee in just one second.
Speaking of Cainiao, its package-tracking and shipping-services app, Cainiao Guoguo, has partnered with 4PX Express to launch an international postage service that offers Chinese consumers a faster, more affordable option to ship goods overseas. The service is now available across 2,800 key Chinese districts and counties and delivers to about 20 countries and regions, including the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and Hong Kong – with plans to expand to more destinations globally.
Daraz, Alibaba’s flagship e-commerce platform in South Asia, rolled out its Seller Stimulus program, offering $500,000 in support to small and medium-sized enterprises across the region. To help SMEs recover from coronavirus-related disruptions and losses, the program offers waived commission fees for Daraz sellers for the months of May and June. Through the program, merchants would also be able to enjoy free access to training, analytics tools and support services to help accelerate the digitization of their businesses.
Fliggy, Alibaba’s travel-services platform, has partnered up with the tourism boards of Finland, France, Germany, Serbia and the United Kingdom to bring popular tourist attractions online to Chinese netizens. Aimed at promoting interest and confidence in overseas travel once the coronavirus pandemic passes, the Cloud Live Tourism campaign features livestreamed broadcasts of some of the most beautiful sites and destinations in Europe. The five-day campaign kicked off on Wednesday with a livestreamed “tour” of Belgrade, Serbia. Also featured was the first-ever livestream of the Palace of Versailles in France. This travel series is the latest example of Alibaba using technology to bring cultural activities to the public amid coronavirus lockdowns. In February, Taobao Live hosted a Spring Tour of eight Chinese national museums that attracted close to 10 million online visitors in a single day.
Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma on Saturday hosted his first Taobao Live session with young craftsmen in Jingdezhen, the ceramics capital of China. During the livestreamed discussion, Ma shared his early experiences as an entrepreneur and encouraged young people to continue innovating and pushing the envelope even in the face of challenges. He said, “Without young people’s daring creativity, their hopes and aspirations, and their courage to try new things, how would we have a future?”
Alibaba’s import e-commerce platform Kaola on Friday launched its first-ever 24-hour shopping festival. The event is aimed at China’s millennial shoppers in pursuit of quality imports and lifestyle upgrades and offers major discounts on products from major overseas brands such as Apple, Dyson, SK-II and Nintendo. Catering to young consumers’ love for discovering new products and brands, the festival also features top-selling items from up-and-coming overseas companies. As part of the event, China’s top livestreamer Li Jiaqi is scheduled to appear to introduce shoppers to Kaola’s Black Membership Cards. Aside from enjoying an additional 10% off all purchases made during the festival, members are eligible for benefits such as monthly coupons and shipping discounts.