Alibaba News Roundup: Chinese Tourists Stay Close to Home for Mid-Autumn Festival; Sichuan Disaster Relief; Alibaba’s Customer Day

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Alibaba News Roundup: Chinese Tourists Stay Close to Home for Mid-Autumn Festival; Sichuan Disaster Relief; Alibaba’s Customer Day

Chinese tourists at a glamping site. Photo Credit: Alibaba Group

This week, Alibaba Group’s travel-services platform Fliggy said Chinese tourists were planning short trips for the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival as the pandemic continued to disrupt long-haul travel.

In other news, Alibaba Foundation pledged RMB5 million ($722,000) to help with the disaster relief in Sichuan province following the magnitude 6.8 earthquake on Monday.

Meanwhile, to celebrate its 23rd birthday, Alibaba invited consumers and clients to join executives and employees on the Alibaba campus in Hangzhou.

Consumers Don’t Go Far For Mid-Autumn Holidays 

Chinese tourists are booking their Mid-Autumn getaway trips – from Sept. 10 to Sept. 12 – at the last minute and within a two-hour travel radius of their homes, according to travel platform Fliggy.

Reservations at local high-end hotels rose by 170% in the last week of August compared to the week before. Purchases of tickets to nearby scenic destinations increased by 230% on Fliggy in the same period as people forego long trips in favor of quick staycations.

Several Chinese cities, including the populous and touristy Chengdu, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Dalian, have imposed total or partial lockdowns due to coronavirus outbreaks.

Meanwhile, more Chinese municipalities such as Beijing and Shanghai are advising residents to stay put for the upcoming long weekend, which includes a statutory holiday on Monday.

Not everyone is hunkering down in a hotel, however. Consumers are participating in outdoor activities in increasing numbers, and purchases and bookings for glamping-themed trips grew seven times in the week of Aug. 29 from the prior week on Fliggy.

Alibaba Foundation Offers Help to Sichuan

Alibaba Foundation pledged RMB5 million to help with disaster relief in southwest China’s Sichuan province after a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck the area on Monday following months of intermittent drought and heatwaves.

The death toll from Monday’s quake, the strongest to hit the province since 2017, has risen to 86, the local government announced on Thursday.

In light of the sixth annual Alibaba Philanthropy Week, Alibaba Foundation also teamed up with the Red Cross Society of China and other social relief organizations to launch fundraising and relief operations for the area.

Happy Customer Day!

Alibaba is celebrating its eighth Customer Day with a series of customer-first themed events in its Hangzhou headquarters.

Alibaba business units invited customers to the group’s Hangzhou campus on Thursday and Friday for gatherings and events, such as face-to-face chats with executives. Customers were also invited to team up with Alibaba employees for a tug-of-war game on Thursday.

Some 20 long-standing customers will join Alibaba Group Chairman Daniel Zhang and other executives on Friday afternoon.

Alibaba Campus Customer Day
Alibaba Hangzhou Campus on Customer Day. Photo Credit: Alibaba Group

Eat Just’s CEO Josh Tetrick On The Food-Tech Startup’s China Expansion

In this episode of Alicast, Eat Just’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Josh Tetrick talks with Alizila’s Managing Editor, Alison Tudor-Ackroyd about the plant-based food company’s expansion in China.

Founded in 2011, this California-based company produces plant-based eggs using mung beans and meat made from animal cells. It has sold over 300 million of its egg product, JUST Egg and built a distribution network with 50,000 points of sale from Birmingham, Alabama to Shanghai.

“The way that we make meat and eggs today contributes more to climate change than all the transportation sources combined. So, what we’re trying to do is to make both meat and eggs better,” Tetrick told Alizila.

The unicorn has also expanded into cultivated meat, which was first approved for sale in Singapore in 2020. Eat Just is the only company in the world that’s received regulatory approval to sell cultivated meat.

Catch the full podcast episode here

Alibaba’s CTO On Everything You Wanted To Know About AI Ethics (But Were Too Afraid To Ask)

Alibaba Group formed a technology committee on Friday with six guiding principles to steer the research and development of artificial intelligence ethics.

Seven independent experts from the fields of technology, law and philosophy will join the committee. They will sit alongside members of Alibaba’s research division DAMO Academy, the company’s legal and compliance teams, and others.

“The tech ethics committee aims to become a gatekeeper for tech innovation,” said Cheng Li, Alibaba Group’s Chief Technology Officer, who will head the committee.

On the eve of the launch, Alizila spoke to Cheng about the committee’s formation and asked him to address some of the top ethical concerns involving AI and machine learning.

Get the full scoop here

Budding Superfoods Brand Grows on Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall

China’s health-conscious female consumers are satiating their hunger with superfoods that offer maximum nutritional benefits for minimal calories.

Guangzhou-based start-up entrepreneur Maggie Peng brought back the healthy-eating concept from the US and shared her favorite superfoods with consumers on Alibaba Group’s online marketplace Taobao and Tmall.

Alibaba’s Tmall Global Attracts China’s Gen Z, Female Consumers As Cross-Border E-Commerce Grows

Affluent young female consumers are driving sales at Alibaba Group’s cross-border B2C platform Tmall Global as consumers snap up the latest shopping trends from probiotics to scientifically proven skin care products. 

Over 100 million annual active consumers shopped on Tmall Global for the 12 months ended July 31, and 70% were female. Meanwhile, two-thirds of Tmall Global’s consumers were born after 1990, and most belong to China’s Generation Z.

“Women make up 70% of our entire customer base. Female consumers are [the] primary decision makers for shopping in Chinese households,” said Lynn Dong, the General Manager of Alibaba’s B2C marketplace Tmall Global, in an interview with Alizila.

Tmall Global shared these customer profiles this week during its 2022 Global Worldwide Partners Conference – an annual gathering to unveil the platform’s strategy with overseas merchants and business partners.

Read more here

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