Alibaba News Roundup: Labor Day Travel Bookings; Alibaba Cloud’s AI Model Debut; Taobao Maker Festival Kicks Off

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Alibaba News Roundup: Labor Day Travel Bookings; Alibaba Cloud’s AI Model Debut; Taobao Maker Festival Kicks Off

Fliggy saw record travel booking for Labor Day holiday. Photo credit: shutterstock

Bookings on Alibaba Group’s online travel platform Fliggy surpassed pre-pandemic levels this weekend as Chinese travelers prepare for the forthcoming Labor Day holiday.

Elsewhere in the ecosystem, Alibaba’s cloud computing arm Alibaba Cloud announced that its generative AI model has received over 200,000 requests from enterprise clients interested in beta testing since launching earlier this month.

Alibaba Cloud will also cut the price of its products in China to encourage broader adoption of cloud technology, the platform shared this week. Taobao Maker Festival kicks off tomorrow. The festival takes place in 10 cities in China.

Labor Day Travel Bookings Surge Past Pre-Covid Levels

Domestic travel bookings for China’s upcoming Labor Day have surpassed pre-pandemic levels, according to data from Alibaba Group’s online travel platform Fliggy.

Between April 29 and May 3, total bookings for flights, accommodations, group travel items, and tickets to scenic spots increased by 1,000% compared to the same period last year, topping 2019 volumes.

“Travel demand continues to recover and order volumes have peaked a few times this spring,” Wang Jingjing, who oversees Labor Day sales at Fliggy, told Alizila.

Read more about golden week for tourism here

Alibaba Cloud’s AI Model Tops 200,000 Testing Requests

Over 200,000 companies have approached Alibaba Cloud to be involved in beta testing the platform’s generative AI model, marking a solid debut across a wide range of industrial sectors.

The cloud computing company shared the update this week after launching its large language model named Tongyi Qianwen earlier in April.

It is now developing customized AI models for industry-specific applications to meet demand from corporate clients.

Also this week, Alibaba Cloud said it would cut the price of its core products and services in China by up to 50%. The price cut will bring the benefits of cloud computing to its partners while reducing costs and allowing broader public use of the cloud, platform representatives said at the summit.

Read more about Alibaba’s generative AI here

Top 5 Wellness & Entertainment Trends China’s Gen Z Love in 2023

China’s Generation Z consumers are fanning new trends as they search for products that bring a touch of playfulness and comfort into their everyday lives.

Moving beyond daily necessities, they are shopping for items that improve their wellbeing. Rather than mass-produced goods, they are also looking for items that speak to their individuality and aesthetics.

“As people’s living standards rise, consumers are no longer hunting for the best deals; they shop for their mental wellbeing needs,” said Li Mingqiang, a designer behind home décor brand Mulu

Even as Chinese citizens have reined in spending during the pandemic, the spending power of Gen-Z shoppers, born between 1996 to 2010, has ballooned.

Stay on top of the trends China’s Gen Z Love

Taobao Helps Young Entrepreneurs Turn Their Hobbies Into Businesses

Many young Chinese entrepreneurs use Alibaba’s online marketplace Taobao to turn their passions into businesses.

Chemist-turned-entrepreneur Harvey Yu, who founded online ink and writing brand Starry Ink as a teenage university student, is one such business owner.

Yu and his team leverage different content formats, including short videos and livestreaming offered by Taobao, to raise brand awareness and educate consumers about their many-hued inks and writing instruments.

Crochet guru Huang Jiayu has followed a similar path, opening a Taobao store called Beaubnana to display her hand-crafted goods for consumers across China.

The platform enables Huang to showcase her crocheted clothing and accessories and spread traditional handicrafts to young modern audiences.

Eating in China Goes High-Tech with 3D-Printed Food

Can a machine make a great steak from scratch? This Chinese food start-up says yes, so long as it has enough ink.

Hangzhou-based food production company Moodles has introduced a 3D printer capable of printing food, offering a healthier alternative to processed food.

Using high-quality protein, the device creates noodles, steaks, tacos and more in line with calorie and nutrient specifications input by consumers.

Stay tuned for more about this year’s Taobao Maker Festival

European Businesses See Exports Rising Next Year: Alibaba Survey

Seven in ten European businesses expect their exports to grow next year, a welcome boost to revenues at a time of rising costs, according to a new survey.

At a time of economic uncertainty and rampant inflation, just under four in five survey respondents said exports have relieved pressure on their businesses by diversifying revenues.

Four in five European businesses are already exporting and 70% expect their exports to increase next year, Alibaba’s latest research revealed. The report was based on a survey of over 9,000 European businesses across nine markets between Feb. 21 and March 2.

The briefing, called the Export Opportunity Report, showed 79% of companies found that exporting had strengthened businesses in several meaningful ways.

Dive deep into the report here

Alibaba, Partners Fight Fraud and Root Out Counterfeits

Alibaba and its partners combated intellectual property rights (IPR) infringements and protected merchants from bad actors in 2022.

The Hanghzou-based internet platform company empowered over 640,000 rights holder accounts registered on its intellectual property protection platform last year, according to the group’s annual IPR report released Wednesday to coincide with World Intellectual Property Day.

The Alibaba Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance (AACA) was a lynchpin in these efforts. Since launching six years ago, the alliance had over 220 members representing more than 1,100 brands by the end of 2022.

Read more about the endeavor here

Alibaba Empowers Luxury Brands to Serve Digitally-Savvy Chinese Consumers

In early 2023, China ended its pandemic-induced isolation, unleashing three years worth of pent-up demand for luxury goods on retailers around the world.

But Chinese consumers are more tech-savvy than ever before, according to executives at Alibaba Group’s e-commerce platform Tmall, putting pressure on luxury brands to keep pace.

Alizila’s Managing Director Alison Tudor-Ackroyd spoke with executives fr2om Alibaba’s e-commerce marketplace Tmall about how the internet platform company helps luxury brands cater to Chinese consumers.

Sanrio, Alifish Launch Collaborations Ahead of Hello Kitty’s 50th Anniversary

Japanese entertainment company Sanrio and Alibaba Picture’s intellectual property (IP) licensing platform Alifish will launch fresh content for the Chinese market, executives shared at the Sanrio 2023 Licensee Conference last month in Hangzhou.

The conference, attended by around 800 licensees as well as business representatives from both groups, was held on the Alibaba campus in southern China.

Alifish holds exclusive rights to manufacture and sell consumer products featuring 26 of Sanrio’s most popular characters in the mainland, according to a five-year master license agreement that came into effect earlier this year.

Read more about the collaborations now

Alibaba CloudAlibaba News RoundupAlifishChinaChinese ConsumersEuropeFliggyJapanMaker FestivalTaobaoTmall
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