Alibaba explores opportunities amid Covid-19 challenges

China-based technology conglomerate, Alibaba, has assembled a digital economy that encompasses commerce, finance, logistics and big data powered by cloud computing.

Daniel Zhang, Chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group, said in a letter to shareholders on 9 July that the last six months have been an unprecedented test and there remains an intense global uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Zhang said Covid-19 has forced Alibaba to re-evaluate its relationship with the global community and has catalysed the development of new digital solutions (digitalisation) in life, work, education, business management and public services.

Alibaba, according to Zhang, delivered on its strategic goal despite the pandemic and surpassed $1 trillion USD in Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV).

“This was an important milestone for Alibaba, especially in the context of $6 trillion USD in total annual retail sales of consumer goods in China today. Our next goal is to serve more than one billion consumers in China and facilitate more than 10 trillion RMB of consumption on our platforms in the next five years as we continue on the path of globalisation.”

Alibaba aims to serve two billion consumers globally, create 100 million jobs and provide the required infrastructure to support 10 million small businesses in the long term to become profitable by 2036.

“We will continue to pursue our three strategic pillars of globalisation, China domestic consumption and big data powered by cloud computing,” said Zhang. “Globalisation is our long-term battle; Chinese domestic consumption is our cornerstone battle and big data powered by cloud computing is our battle for the future.”

Alibaba has accelerated brand digitalisation in China with its recent app launches, including a mobile order and pay feature for Seattle-based coffee business, Starbucks Coffee Company.

Both Alibaba and Starbucks partnered to transform the coffee industry in August 2018.

Alibaba aims to build on its cloud-based technologies to streamline logistics and optimise supply chains.

Zhang's vision is to create value for society and help find solutions for society's challenges.

“We want to convert Alibaba’s resources into fuel for small and medium businesses, which will in turn support the advancement of the whole society,” he said. “We want our society to be better because of Alibaba’s contributions.”

(Image: Alibaba Group CEO, Daniel Zhang.)

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