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Alibaba News Roundup: Zhang Included in Fortune’s Businessperson of the Year Rankings & Cainiao’s Plan for Vaccine Transport

The Alibaba News Roundup is a weekly digest of events and happenings across the company. This week, we look at Alibaba Group Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang’s inclusion in the Fortune Businessperson of the Year 2020 rankings. Also featured is Cainiao’s partnership with Ethiopian Airlines to prepare for the forthcoming global distribution of Covid-19 vaccines. We also have news about Alibaba Pictures’ new label focused on producing stories portraying the lives and lifestyles of Chinese youth.

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Daniel Zhang Included in Fortune’s Businessperson of the Year 2020 Rankings

This week, Fortune Magazine listed Alibaba Group Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang in its annual ranking of star executives “who achieved the remarkable.” The list includes SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Advanced Micro Devices’ Lisa Su and Nvidia co-founder Jensen Huang. Fortune pointed out that Zhang has continually found ways to boost the tech giant’s growth since taking over as chief executive officer in 2015 – noting that Alibaba has reported revenue growth for each of the past three quarters and a 31% increase in total revenue over the past 12 months. Zhang was also the key architect of Alibaba’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, where gross merchandise volume this year topped $74 billion. 

Cainiao Partners with Ethiopian Airlines to Launch Cold Chain Air Freight, Preparing for Vaccine Transport

Alibaba Group’s logistics arm Cainiao Network on Thursday announced a partnership with Ethiopian Airlines to launch a cold chain air freight for the transport of temperature-controlled medicines twice a week from Shenzhen, China to Africa. Cainiao says the end-to-end transportation process will lay the foundation to readily respond to the need for global distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, which will require highly effective cold chain management. The company chose Shenzhen as a departure point, as it is well-equipped to handle biotechnology products, including a 350-square-meter-wide, climate-controlled warehouse. It is also the fourth airport in China to obtain the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) certification for pharmaceutical logistics. James Zhao, general manager of Cainiao International Supply Chain said the launch “has further bolstered our global logistics capabilities and allows us to offer a one-stop solution for the global distribution of medical products such as Covid-19 vaccines.”

Alibaba Pictures Launches a New Film Label for Zeitgeist Movies

Alibaba Pictures has launched a new label dubbed “Surprise Works” to produce original films, building momentum for Alibaba Group’s film business, which was established in 2014. Liu Qingling, head of Surprise Works said at a press conference last week that the new label is focused on producing Zeitgeist films, mainly in three categories — youth, life stories and soft science fiction. Already, three movies are in the pipeline, including “Striding into the Wind,” by Wei Shujun, “Girl with Nine Wigs,” by Li Zhi and “Jasmine,” by Zhang Rongji. 

“Lifestyles of the young generations are constantly changing, and it is worth exploring stories from different age groups,” Liu said. “Technological advancement is one of the drivers of this lifestyle change, so now is the best time to tell Chinese sci-fi stories.” Alibaba Pictures said more than 20 original films are being discussed under the label, with young, budding directors in their 30s.

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