January 2015 in China has been an incredible piece of my life that I will cherish for a long time. Places I have seen, people that I have encountered, food that I have tasted, and business knowledge that I have acquired were invaluable lessons that broadened my worldview and attitude to life.
With tours, self-directed learning, and business trips, 21 days in China was not wasted.
Alibaba is a Chinese e-commerce company that provides consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and business-to-business sales services via internet. It also provides electronic payment services (Alipay), a shopping search engine and data-centric cloud computing services.
Jack Ma and 18 other people wanted to create an internet platform for small businesses in China to make it easy to do business anywhere. In 1999, Jack Ma founded Alibaba.com, a business-to-business portal to connect Chinese manufacturers with overseas buyers. In 2012, two of Alibaba’s portals handled $170 billion in sales.
The market value for Alibaba is now $231 billion.
The vision for the company is to become
No. 1 data-sharing platform
Company with highest employee happiness index
life span of 102 years (102 years for them to last 3 centuries)
Alibaba have several platforms:
Alibaba.com (buisiness to business)
Aliexpress.com (business to consumer)
1688.com (business – business)
Aliyun.com is cloud computing and data developer.
Ant Financial includes Alipay which is similar to Paypal.
9.72 million directly created job
2.04 million indirectly created job
There are millions of people visiting Alibaba’s e-commerce platform a day and during the peak hours (3-5PM), it has been reported that about 15 million users are online.
Enough of numbers and statistics.
Our group arrived to the main campus of Alibaba in *Hangzhou. In the fancy conference room, the PR employee introduced their company and we got to ask some questions. After that, we went to the employee cafeteria where we had lunch. After lunch, we toured the campus.
Alibaba Group is unique in that it creates platform for small-large businesses to do business with other businesses whereas eBay.com and Amazon.com mainly deals with consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer, respectively.
What does Alibaba mean? I like the way it sounds and it is easy name to remember but what does it mean? PR employee said it is a title of a very famous Chinese (traditional?) song. “Arirang” would be an Korean equivalent to “Alibaba.”
I was pleased to see creativity and energy valued in the workplace and seeing the Alibaba group steadily reaching their visions.
*Hangzhou is a 8 million people city with the highest average income of $13,600 in China (Average income of China is $3500). The city was clean and modern.