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rsvp isabella@unacknowledgedgiant.com to vote for a twitter than can be turned into a greatest elarning generation newsletter

 2 examples to begin with

 

  1. Alibaba and partners collect 200,000 books in initial campaign to aid underprivileged students in #India: books.alibaba.com

  2. A record 589 million Chinese are expected to travel this `Golden Week' via @FortuneMagazine for.tn/2deH92i?xid=fo

  3. How companies are engaging millennials in Asia

  4. Alibaba Group Retweeted UN Women

    Alibaba is proud to be included in the report (p 71). E-commerce is powerful enabler of women's economic empowerment.

    Alibaba Group added,

  5. See how Alibaba is bringing the digital economy to China's countryside. Videos here: ow.ly/V6bv304gX5N

  6. At Alibaba we believe that women are key to the success of our company, no #allmalepanels around here on.ft.com/2da39xO

  7. .@Bose Partners With Tmall to Grow #Ecommerce Biz in #China: ow.ly/8nYU304FFWh

  8. Alibaba Group Retweeted Wall Street Journal

    The craze is real. See how Alibaba merchants are monetizing live-streaming in a big way: alizila.com/cyber-celebrit

    Alibaba Group added,

  9. Commissioner #JackMa, founder of @AlibabaGroup, believes in the power of L-Q. #LearningGeneration:

  10. .@Bose Targets #China #O2O Sales Through Tmall: ow.ly/vCaK304FG5x

  11. .@Bose Targets #China #O2O Sales Through Tmall: ow.ly/8nYU304FFWh

  12. .@AlibabaTalk founder Jack Ma's hometown has produced 72 of the world's billionaires. @lisahopeking talked to him: cnnmon.ie/2dahpnX

  13. The race to universal ‘one click’ shopping and digital free trade on.wsj.com/2cVZWwD via @WSJ @HelloFrankLavin

  14. Proud to partner with Whittard of Chelsea to share its iconic British products with Chinese consumers fdiforum.net/mag/whittard-c via @fdiforum

  15. Why Zhejiang province - home to Alibaba - has produced so many successful entrepreneurs money.cnn.com/2016/09/27/tec via @CNNMoney @lisahopeking

  16. Follow American expat Danielle Sumata as she tours Alibaba's Hangzhou campus.

    Fan Tours Alibaba HQ
  17. Very cool NYC small business that is now directly selling to China's consmers through Alibaba's Tmall @stadiumgoods

    Stadium Goods
  18. Joe Tsai: Alibaba Finding Its Groove via @Jessicalessin @theinformation ow.ly/qlX8304ys3E (no sub required)

  19. Powerful speech from World Bank President Jim Yong Kim on why Jack Ma can help move millions of people out of extreme poverty. @UNCTAD

    Dr. Jim Kim congratulates Jack Ma on becoming UN Special Adviser
    Jack Ma named UN Special Adviser - Congratulatory speech from World Bank President Jim Yong Kim
  20. Joe Tsai: Alibaba Finding Its Groove via @Jessicalessin @Theinformatio ow.ly/qlX8304ys3E (no sub required)

  21. It's harvest season for apple farmers in Washington State. See how this farmer is turning to Alibaba to keep his family business strong.

    Apple Farmer
  22. Joe Tsai: Alibaba Finding Its Groove via @Jessicalessin @theinformation ow.ly/qlX8304ys3E (no sub required)

  23. Alibaba Group Retweeted The Information

    Joe Tsai interviewed by @Jessicalessin

    Alibaba Group added,

  24. Alibaba Group Retweeted CCTVNEWS

    Read more about Jack's new role as UN Adviser on Trade: alizila.com/jack-ma-named-

    Alibaba Group added,

  25. Cainaio, Alibaba's Logistics Arm, Follows Chinese Demand Overseas: ow.ly/7YFG304s8Ta #ecommerce #logistics #China

 ======================================

 

some reads from usa - which universities value or destroy their studnts livelihooods

 

Is it time to redesign the campus career center?

 
With the emerging need for college graduates to be credentialed and work-ready, career advisement may be the most prominent student resource on campus.
 

 

Marlboro College makes campus governance everyone's job

 
The 400-person campus' model could work ideally for small institutions with more control over sharing the immediate and longterm needs of the school.
 

 

 

The term 'nontraditional student' is extinct

 
With the increase in adult learners at campuses nationwide, a new norm is emerging for colleges and universities to adapt in service and enrollment strategy. 
 
 
Read more news
 

 

 

 


THE WASHINGTON POST

Feds found widespread fraud at Corinthian Colleges. Why are students still paying the price?

 

 
ECAMPUS NEWS

Ranking identifies the 50 best online colleges for 2016

 

 
CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY

Rhode Island Open Textbook Initiative to Save Students $5 Million Annually

 

 
THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION

How Humanities Can Help Fix the World

 

selection of good news from MIT

 

Martin Trust Center Alumni Companies: 
MIT Entrepreneurship & Innovation Stories: 

 

 

 

 

 

ALIBABA CLOUD OPENS CHINA SALES CHANNEL FOR FOREIGN TECH

JIM ERICKSON  |  AUGUST 9, 2016

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Alibaba Cloud, Alibaba Group’s fast-growing cloud-computing subsidiary, is offering international tech companies easier access to the China market with the launch of new online sales platform for cloud-computing solutions.

Called AliLaunch, the platform provides a channel to sell and deploy software and services in China through Alibaba Cloud, which has more than 1.4 million PRC customers and is the country’s largest provider of public cloud services.

“The introduction of AliLaunch demonstrates Alibaba Cloud’s ongoing commitment of building a global cloud computing ecosystem, which connects SaaS developers and business partners from different countries on a unified platform,” said Sicheng Yu, an Alibaba Group vice president and general manager of Alibaba Cloud Global, in a statement. “We are aiming to build AliLaunch as the Tmall of the cloud computing industry,” he said. Tmall is Alibaba Group’s flagship B2C shopping website.

Alibaba Cloud sells a range of cloud-computing solutions the company has developed in-house. To speed the adoption of cloud computing in China andpromote its cloud services in overseas markets, the company has been partnering with Western tech companies in order to expand its range of products available from third-party vendors through Alibaba Cloud. For example, in April Alibaba Cloud formed a strategic partnership with SAP, the world’s largest supplier of business management software, to offer in China a range of solutions that operate in the Alibaba Cloud environment.

China’s public cloud market is forecast to more than double to $3.8 billion in 2020 from $1.8 billion in 2015, according to market research company Forrester. In the quarter ended March 31, Alibaba Group reported revenues from its cloud computing and Internet infrastructure business jumped 175 percent year-over-year to $165 million.

China businesses and other organizations are expected to use AliLaunch as an online store offering simplified access to technology partners and solutions, allowing them to deploy software and services in a “convenient and quick way” through Alibaba Cloud, according to the company.

AliLaunch currently lists 11 participating technology partners from the U.S., Europe, Japan and Thailand, including SAP, Hitachi Data Systems, and Check Point Software Technologies, a leading provider of data and communications security products. Software is available through AliLaunch in categories such as operating systems, network infrastructure and databases, among others.

CloudLogoSizedIn conjunction with the debut of AliLaunch, Alibaba Cloud also announced the formation of a global program—called the Global Technology Partners Marketplace—to assist tech companies in building cloud-based software that is hosted by and integrated with Alibaba Cloud’s services.

Together with AliLaunch, the program can help companies overcome common obstacles they face in China “including scalability and technology compatibility,” according to Alibaba Cloud. “The AliLaunch program and Global Technology Partners Marketplace serve as the perfect platforms for making different software products accessible to businesses and organizations in China,” Yu said.

At a company sponsored cloud-computing conference held today in Beijing, Alibaba Cloud also announced a strategic partnership with HTC to explore scalable, cost-effective virtual reality (VR) solutions.

HTC, the Taiwan-based consumer electronics company best known for its smartphones, agreed to work with Alibaba Cloud to develop network and data-processing infrastructure to support emerging VR commercial applications.

According to a press release from Alibaba Cloud, the companies “will focus on developing breakthrough innovative solutions to tackle bandwidth allocation, data transmission and data processing needs in areas such as VR video production, VR broadcasting and VR content sharing.” HTC recently unveiled a VR headset called Vive.

The partnership will also bring together industry developers to build a VR cloud ecosystem, and extend Viveport, HTC’s VR app store, to Alibaba Cloud’s cloud computing platform, according to the release.

The development of VR technology requires powerful and flexible infrastructure support to supply visually rich and interactive content to users, Alibaba Cloud said. Cloud computing can improve efficiency and lower operational costs, the company said.

 

=====================================

Like most entrepreneurs, Laura Stembridge wants her U.K. company Jambo, a mobile app for business travelers, to one day attain unicorn status. Last month, she moved a step closer to that goal by winning the Create@Alibaba Cloud Startup Contest in London, the global competition’s first stop in Europe.

For Jambo, the win offers the chance to break into the China market with help from the cloud-computing arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group. But for Alibaba, which has put globalization at the top of its priority list, the contest is another way to extend its reach overseas.

The London event was one of a series of contests organized by Alibaba Cloud, with similar competitions planned for Paris, Dubai, South Korea, the U.S., and major provinces in China. The contests aren’t the end goal, however. Rather, they are part of a larger strategy to boost participation in the Create@Alibaba Cloud global program, which provides funding for investments in IT infrastructure, technology training and post-sales support to startups as a way to ramp up their businesses.

“We’re conducting these events so we can group these startups together and understand how Alibaba Cloud can contribute in terms of helping them reach the next level,” says Sicheng Yu, general manager of Alibaba Cloud International. “We want to help them grow by getting their systems on the same infrastructure that supports Alibaba e-commerce and payments as well.”

Jambo—the Swahili word for hello—targets business travelers to six international cities: New York, San Francisco, London, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. The app links users based on professional backgrounds, their companies and career interests and suggests local professional and/or social networking events. Jambo beat out seven other tech startups covering services such as e-commerce, social media and finance.

“We just completed our first round of funding so having an award like this adds to our credibility and hopefully convinces our next investors about our potential for success,” Stembridge said.

Established in 2009, Alibaba Cloud is the market leader in China and among the world’s top clouds with more than 2.3 million users and 500,000 paying customers. A recent report from Morgan Stanley valued Alibaba Cloud at $39 billion and forecast revenues of $8.72 billion by 2020, with faster growth than global industry leader Amazon Web Services.

For Sicheng, the ability to enter the China market through Alibaba Cloud is a major advantage for businesses of any size.

“Companies benefit from all the years of experience Alibaba Group has gained in becoming the biggest internet company on this planet. That includes our ecosystem, our payment services and our e-commerce platforms,” says Sicheng. “If you want to tap into the ecosystem and gain the most scalable computing capability for growth we can help you do that.”

Beyond China, companies looking for a foothold or growth overseas can take advantage of Alibaba Cloud’s data centers in local markets such as Singapore and two locations in the U.S. Plans call for centers in Japan, Europe, the Middle East and Australia.

“Our focus has always been to empower our global customers with our cloud expertise to achieve expansion into international markets,” says Sicheng.

Contest participants in London received a variety of Alibaba Cloud products and services valued at $10,000. As the winner, Stembridge took home $50,000 in credits and an invitation to participate in a world final in China in October. The grand prize winner will receive a $216,000 credit to be used for Alibaba products and services, plus the opportunity to meet with top investment firms in China and gain potential coverage from global media.

Stembridge is still mulling over how she wants to use her winnings. With Jambo set to launch in public beta this month, she says she’ll decide after a coming meet-up with Alibaba Cloud. Then there’s that world final in China.

“Competing with other global startups? Pitching on a world stage? It’ll be an incredible experience,” she said.

==================================

Alibaba held its inaugural Taobao Maker Festival in Shanghai last weekend, drawing attention to China’s young entrepreneurs and the uniquely Chinese products they’re creating. Check out the photos below for a look at these “millennial makers.”

1. Blue Sky Labs

Simon Kubski (left), Ann Wang and Ted Xiong of Blue Sky Labs show off some of the accessories available for their personal, wearable air purifier. Garden-variety face masks are commonly worn China to fend off air pollution, but Blue Sky Labs wanted give consumers a more effective solution, along with personalized ways to carry the device, such as in a specialized purse, plush toy or sports armband. After taking some ideas to the street for random testing late last year, they came up with a line of accessories they believe have public appeal.

2. Bamboo Bicycles Beijing

Beijing-based entrepreneur David Wang shows off one of the two-wheelers he creates and sells through Bamboo Bicycles Beijing. Wang, 29, took to Taobao to expand a business he started two years ago, charging customers to come to his workshop where they can build the bikes themselves for RMB 2,000 ($300) and up. All the parts, from the bamboo to the individual components, are purchased through Taobao. Wang chose bamboo because it’s easier to work with than steel, which requires welding skills most people don’t have, he said.

3. Cool Labs

Gene Zhang, 27, from Cool Labs, flies one of the company’s camera-equipped drones at the Taobao Maker Festival. Cool Labs sells prepackaged DIY kits for drones and fighting robots so users can build their own. “Everything’s in the box to promote the DIY spirit,” Zhang said. The company is working on the next generation of the product, which will be programmable, allowing consumers to design the drone’s operations themselves.

4. Qiang Embroidery

Wu Fangyan shows off her apron made with traditional embroidery from the Qiang ethnic minority, who live in the mountainous areas of Sichuan Province. Wu’s social enterprise is part of the BottleDream shop on Taobao, which brings together young entrepreneurs who work to solve specific social problems. Sichuan, of course, was hit by a massive earthquake in 2008. So, in addition to keeping alive the traditions of the Qiang through her business, some of the proceeds from Wu’s store go to support the women who make the embroidery.

5. Viken Plan

Beijing-based Viken Plan makes socks, which sounds dreary, but this is fashion footwear. “Socks are a category that has been ignored for too long,” said company founder Viken Xu. “There is fashion about clothes, bags and accessories, but nobody designs socks.” Xu, who does, says 90 percent of his customers are under 30 years old. “They are more tolerant and look for diversity to show their attitudes,” he said.

6. Shibazhi

Liu Jianghua, co-founder of Shibazhi (literally translated as “18 paper”), sits on a paper couch flanked by a paper coffee table and lamp. After winning several awards for their paper-based home products designs, Liu and his wife launched Shibazhi in 2013. The furniture that can be reconfigured for different uses and spaces and collapsed for easy storage. The company makes a paper stool that can be folded to the thickness of a book.

7. The Coin Qian Collection

Painter Coin Qian poses with designer accessories adorned with her artwork. Qian started selling her paintings in Shanghai to expatriate art collectors about 10 years ago but, dismayed that her reach was limited to museum and art gallery stores, switched to Taobao. “Previously we were in an art area, and a friend said we’re in a nice fish tank. ‘If you want to sell more, you need to go into the ocean.’” Now, she says, 60 percent of her sales are to Chinese buyers.

8. ALP Guitars

Attendees play foldable, lightweight guitars made by Hangzhou, China-based ALP. After designing the portable instruments with his father, ALP founder Lin Zunyi and his family last year raised RMB 208,000 (about $31,000) from 70 orders in a Taobao crowdfunding campaign. Initially ALP’s product line was “hard to sell to regular stores because no one knew our guitar yet,” said employee Rachel Hu. “So it was good to put our story on Taobao.”

9. Rebag

Wang Yi poses with a one-off backpack she designed using denim from a pair of jeans from pop star Momo. Her brand, Rebag, takes old clothes and turns them into new accessories, a process called “upcycling.” The Momo backpack will be auctioned off on Taobao.

10. DF Robot

Lee Guo, marketing manager at DFRobot, holds out the Hurt Locker, a bomb-disposal game that challenges players to defuse the device before it “explodes.” Guo said the game, developed in partnership with a customer who created a prototype by purchasing parts from DFRobot’s Taobao store, garnered some unwanted attention from Chinese authorities. “They asked us to come and talk to them, because on the outside it looks like a bomb,” Guo said. “But it’s a toy.” DFRobot works with robotics enthusiasts to create offbeat products like Hurt Locker that are sold as DIY kits.

11. Mishan

Chinese fashion brand Mishan might be best known for its qipao, a traditional Chinese woman’s dress known for its tight fit, high neck and slit skirt. The designs are inspired by the expeditions of Ming Dynasty-era admiral and explorer Zheng He, and company founders Kate Han and husband Feng Guang combine the dress’ classic elements with a contemporary style that resonates with a young Chinese clientele. Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr recent posed in the China edition of Italian women’s magazine Grazia wearing a Mishan-designed Chinese robe.

12. Qizhen Formula 1

Paul Zheng poses with his team’s 2015 model Formula 1 student car. The Zhejiang University students produce one car a year for annual races. This one, was the lightest in its class, can go from 0-100 kmph in 4 seconds. Zheng’s job is to perfect the steering wheel for the team’s vehicles. The students, which race under the name Qizhen, which loosely translates to “inspiring people to search for truth,” got a booth at the Taobao Maker Festival not to sell products but to show what they’ve made as customers. Zheng estimated that 70 percent of their parts are sourced from Taobao.

13. Malianghang

A woman (background) speaks into a phone to record an audio file that will be used to personalize jewelry at the booth for Malianghang 3D-printed jewelry. The brand’s founder and CEO Bill Hu believes jewelry is more than a piece of accessory; it can carry stories and emotions. The company takes the audio files to make custom, unique jewelry for each customer, who are also able to add words or other special meanings to be printed into the items. The 3D printer sits in the foreground.

 

 

====================================

On the way to becoming the world’s largest e-tailing market ($590 billion in 2015), online shopping in China has become a highly social activity.

Wary Chinese consumers don’t swallow advertising at face value and they don’t take vendors at their word—they check the internet for product reviews, swap links to favored products and seek out third-party opinions, especially those of people they trust. According to a recent McKinsey report, two-thirds of China’s consumers cite recommendations from families and friends as the most important factor in purchasing decisions. In the U.S., only one out of three people say the same.

In other words, in China, shopping is also sharing. So pronounced is this trend that Alibaba Group, owner of China’s largest online marketplaces, insists it’s not so much in the e-commerce business these days as it is in the social commerce business. And since more sharing equals more sales, the company is doing everything it can to make it easier for users to interact with one another when shopping online—going beyond offering the standard e-commerce fare of user-generated product recommendations and ratings by establishing online communities, encouraging shoppers to share photos of their latest online purchases and even adding monetary incentives to encourage greater social participation.

The tip of the social-commerce spear is Mobile Taobao, Alibaba’s hugely popular mobile shopping app. With 369 million monthly active users, Mobile Taobao is “not only China’s, but the world’s largest social commerce platform,” according to Jiang Fan, who leads Mobile Taobao’s business at Alibaba.

The app, which offers access to Alibaba shopping sites Taobao Marketplace, Tmall.com and Juhuasuan, generates up to 20 million product reviews every day, and involves 5 million users sharing content with friends. Users “like to share whatever they find—fun things, fun merchandise—with their friends through social media,” Jiang said last month during an investor conference at Alibaba headquarters in Hangzhou, China. “We don’t view ourselves [merely] as a shopping app,” he said. “Our community is not only about us serving the consumers, but consumers themselves helping each other.”

To drive greater customer engagement, Mobile Taobao has been developing new social commerce features within the app. One such addition is the hosting of special interest groups called quanzi (circles) where hobbyists and other like-minded individuals can talk about their pastimes and favorite products. Taobao says it now hosts more than 1,000 circles covering interests such as wedding planning, fishing, infant care and many others. “We want to get people together to allow them to discuss and generate content that can serve more people,” said Zhang Jiehan, a Taobao product manager.

Photo sharing is also a hit with users, said Jiang. “Every day after [mobile shoppers] complete their transactions they like to share what they’ve bought,” he said, “so we have a specific app for buyers to show off their products.” This feature currently generates about 1.5 million daily reviews, he added.

One of the most popular social functions on Mobile Taobao is a Q&A feature called Wendajia (ask others) that lets shoppers with questions about a particular product get answers from members of the Taobao community. Wendajia helps free consumers from the drudgery of combing randomly through product reviews or resorting to asking sometimes biased and unhelpful vendors for answers. “The essence here is mutual assistance,” Zhang said. “The new feature builds a direct and effective communication channel between people who have purchased and people who want to purchase.”

Crowdsourced Q&As have been around for a while, of course. But Wendajia is innovative in the way Taobao identifies and proactively reaches out to users who can provide feedback. When a buyer submits a question, Taobao employs big data and a sophisticated algorithm to spot members of the online community who are most likely qualified to answer the question, typically those who have recently purchased the product. After zeroing in on up to 12 potential candidates, the system then sends out messages to their smartphones soliciting responses.

Wendajia has proven to be a boon to buyers because they don’t have to wait hours or days for fellow shoppers to stumble on their questions and provide answers. One-fourth of all questions are answered within one minute and 60 percent of questions within 10 minutes, Jiang said. “This greatly optimizes the pre-shopping decision process,” he said. Every day, it receives as many as 1 million questions, and 2 million consumers participated in answering.

China’s widespread adoption of smartphones and the reach of the mobile internet has undoubtedly contributed to the growth of social commerce by making participation easy, ubiquitous and dynamic. Still, Mobile Taobao isn’t relying solely on user enthusiasm and social goodwill to foster greater user involvement.

Last year, Alibaba rolled out a program to encouragebloggers, writers and noteworthy online experts to post content on Mobile Taobao by paying them small sales commissions for product recommendations that lead to purchases. More recently, Taobao began offering similar incentives for the general public to encourage social participation.

Through an upgrade to Taobao’s existing membership program, which previously awarded points only for online spending, users can earn additional points by posting product reviews and links, answering consumer questions and interacting with the Taobao community in other ways. While there are no cash awards, amassing points entitles users to benefits such as coupons for car-hailing app Didi Chuxing and service upgrades such as late check-out times at participating hotels.

In social-media-crazed China, such perks may not be necessary. Just being part of the conversation seems to be enough to keep people involved. According to media research firm ComScore, the average Mobile Taobao user spends more than 25 minutes a day on the app, compared with Amazon Mobile’s 9 minutes.

As Taobao shopper Cici Wang notes, social-commerce features like Wendajia have value “because of the volunteer work offered by ordinary users, which makes it trustworthy.” Indeed, having armies of consumers keeping each other informed and vendors honest is seen as a positive development as e-commerce morphs into social commerce, says Zhang, the Taobao product manager. Digital word-of-mouth provides merchants with continuous feedback and compels them to maintain quality products and services.

“In the long term, it drives healthy growth of the platform,” Zhang said.

=====================================

Alibaba Group is continuing its push to develop e-commerce in China’s less-wealthy rural regions, with the number of rural service centers soaring more than eightfold since the end of June last year.

Alibaba has established rural service centers in some 16,000 villages in 29 provinces, up from 1,803 centers nearly 11 months ago, according to statistics released in May 25 during a company sponsored rural e-commerce summit held in Shandong Province.

Operated by independent local entrepreneurs, Alibaba’s rural service centers represent the tip of the spear for the company’s drive to spread e-commerce and online financial services beyond China’s big, relatively wealthy cities. The centers provide internet access and training to consumers and businesses, helping them buy and sell through Alibaba’s online marketplaces.

 

 

In January, Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang said a2016 strategic priority is “to ramp up our efforts to bring quality goods to rural buyers, and deliver local produce to urban customers, so the rural market can be connected to the whole country and even the whole world.” Alibaba in 2014 announced plans to invest 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) to build 100,000 service centers in rural areas in China in three to five years.

According to a report from AliResearch, Alibaba’s research arm, e-commerce orders placed by rural consumers or placed with rural sellers resulted in the delivery of more than 7 billion packages in 2015, up from 4.5 billion the previous year. Meanwhile, GMV generated through e-tailers located in 832 counties designated by Beijing as impoverished increased 81 percent in 2015 to RMB 21.56 billion ($3.3 billion), according to the report, which looked at e-commerce activity in rural counties last year.

Mobile GMV accounted for more than 60 percent of total GMV generated by rural consumers last year, according to AliResearch.

During the summit, Alibaba officials highlighted several initiatives that have been gaining traction in the countryside, including the development of a channel for the online sale of agricultural products from provinces including Shandong, Guizhou and Shaanxi. Aided by improved logistics, the channel, which was launched last year, allows farmers to sell organic and other produce to urban buyers on a pre-order basis. The AliResearch report said GMV of agricultural products sold on Alibaba platforms by residents of less-developed counties grew 65 percent in 2015.

Alibaba Group fintech affiliate Ant Financial has also been active in rural China, offering services including online payments, insurance products and small loans to farmers through Alibaba’s rural service centers. Some 120 million rural residents bought insurance through Ant in 2015, while 20 million took out business loans, according to the AliReseach report.

Alibaba also announced the launch of a new rural initiative called “smart county” at the summit, through which Alibaba’s cloud computing arm, Alibaba Cloud, and Ant Financial will provide technical support to local governments as well as access to public services through Ant’s Alipay super app. The program is currently being tested in small cities in Shandong, Zhejiang, and Guizhou provinces.

===================================

With fewer than one out of every three residents using the internet, China’s less affluent rural areas, home to an estimated 600 million people, are considered to be one of the PRC’s next great e-commerce growth opportunities. Getting a population made up largely of farmers to shop and sell online is full of challenges, however, not the least of which is figuring out how to deliver goods to and from remote villages and population centers that lack the sophisticated infrastructure of China’s modern coastal metropolitan centers.

To help tie underdeveloped parts of China more closely to the country’s dynamic economy, e-commerce giant Alibaba Group and its logistics armCainiao launched an ambitious program to radically improve delivery networks reaching rural areas. The program isn’t limited to small parcels, either. Watch this video to see how Alibaba and Cainiao facilitated the shipment of an 18-meter fiberglass dragon boat built in the city of Foshan in Guangdong Province to Luotang Village in Guizhou Province—a 1,000-kilometer journey completed in just two days (which incidentally is the shipping time Amazon offers free to U.S. consumers who sign up for its Prime membership plan).

 

 

 

 

=====================================

This article was originally published by Forbes.

With a bit of trepidation, I ran up to Hangzhou a few days ago. No, I am no longer part of the Group of 20 (G20) process, having departed government some years ago. But the G20 Hangzhou Summit did give me pause as to whether it was the best time to visit (thankfully, my concerns were misplaced as the city continued to function rather well even with the additional security checkpoints). My trip was just one of our regular “checkup” calls with Alibaba leadership, from senior management to account representatives, reviewing marketing plans, looking at Singles Day, talking about new brands launching in China–and general collegiality. And the G20 Summit turned out to be a bit of serendipity as it offered a useful opportunity to explore with Chinese decision makers as well as with Alibaba leadership what they hoped to accomplish in Hangzhou and what G20 developments might mean for businesses as they look at China.

The G20 summit resulted in both substantive successes and message successes for business. First a look at substance …

The G20 process is a year-long series of cabinet-level and technical meetings, which culminates in a summit of twenty world leaders, at which they hashed out ways to spur the torpid global economy, build an open financial system and coordinate monetary policies.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the summit. It seems I was not the only person with the idea of checking in with Alibaba. Several international delegations made side-trips to Alibaba, where they were given tours of the headquarters campus and where several signed trade agreements with the e-commerce company. In the space of a few days, Jack Ma, Alibaba’s executive chairman, hosted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Italian PM Matteo Renzi, Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, and WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo, among others.

Some might find it curious that global leaders with jampacked schedules would find the time to schmooze with a Chinese company that is not particularly well known in the west, despite Alibaba’s claim that it is the world’s largest retail commerce company.

But their interest can be easily explained with two statistics: world trade is projected to grow at a sluggish 2.8% in 2016; worldwide retail e-commerce sales are expected to grow nearly 24% this year.

In a nutshell, e-commerce is where the growth is. More than this, cutting deals that promise greater access to the Chinese consumer through e-commerce is a smart play for politicians looking to jumpstart the economies of their respective countries. Also a smart move by China as it strives to open its economy. In the last few days, Russia and Canada announced they were opening e-commerce “pavilions” on Alibaba shopping websites, Australia signed a cooperation agreement with Alibaba while Renzi of Italy visited to promote Italian wine in advance of an upcoming online wine and spirits promotion on Alibaba’s Tmall marketplace.

The opportunity is clear. Household consumption in China now exceeds 60% of GDP and will continue to climb as the economy transitions from export-led to consumption-led. A significant driver of this transformation is e-commerce, which is increasing the range of choices available to Chinese consumers while lowering costs and accelerating delivery, according to a recent article in the Japan Times. As a result, China’s online retail sales have exploded from 6.3% of total retail sales in 2012 to over 20% in 2016. By 2020, 40% of all retail transactions in China may be conducted online.

This isn’t the only reason Alibaba was a stopover for visiting leaders during the G20 – and this takes us to the message point. The theme of this year’s summit is building an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy – a goal that happens to be one of Jack Ma’s crusades.

Frank Lavin is the CEO of Export Now, the leading operator of China e-commerce stores for international brands. He previously worked on China issues in government, finance, and communications.

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Alibaba founder Jack Ma unveils ambitious plan

Mission: 100 million new jobs

By Dana McCauley


He already runs the world's biggest online shopping company, but Alibaba founder Jack Ma is not satisfied.

The Chinese billionaire has unveiled an even more ambitious plan to expand the company's reach across the globe, creating 100 million new jobs and transforming the global economy to create a more equitable world.

It may sound pie-in-the-sky, but the goal forms part of mission statement of the US$261 billion company's visionary executive chairman.

In a letter to shareholders, Ma outlined Alibaba's achievements of the past financial year - including a gross merchandise turnover of more than $195 billion (1 trillion RMB), an "unprecedented" figure - before looking to the future.

"We have more than 430 million annual active buyers, which means one out of every three individuals in China has made a purchase on our retail marketplaces," Ma wrote.

But, he said, while proud of Alibaba's online shopping achievements, "we want to do far more", saying that the benefits of globalisation had not been spread evenly, but that "digital disruption will bring us closer to a level playing field for young people and small businesses".

"We are not merely trying to shift buy/sell transactions from offline to online, nor are we changing conventional digital marketing models to squeeze out a little additional profit," he wrote.

"We are working to create the fundamental digital and physical infrastructure for the future of commerce, which includes marketplaces, payments, logistics, cloud computing, big data and a host of other fields."

The Alibaba group of companies, founded in 1999, accounts for 60 per cent of all Chinese online sales, and this year overtook Walmart as the world's largest retailer.

 

It has made Ma the second richest man in Asia, with a net worth of US$28.5 billion.

THE NEW 'NATURAL RESOURCE'

It's through cloud computing that Alibaba aims to expand its reach, and the company has been investing in the technology as part of a strategy that sees shoppers' data as the contemporary equivalent of mineral riches.

"Over the next 30 years, with computing power as the new 'technology breakthrough' and data as the new 'natural resource,' the landscape of retail, financial services, manufacturing and entertainment will be transformed," Ma wrote, forecasting a decades-long period of transformation.

"The internet revolution is a historical inflection point, much like when electricity was introduced, and it may have an even greater impact," he predicted.

Alibaba's mission, he said, was to "empower merchants with the ability to transform and upgrade their businesses for the future" and "help companies all over the world to grow".

"We believe, the commerce infrastructure we have created in China - marketplaces, payments, logistics, cloud computing and big data, all working in concert - can be applied on a global scale to lift up small and medium businesses and ordinary consumers around the world."

Eight years after launching, Alibaba Cloud hosts 35 per cent of Chinese websites, while delivering cloud computing and big data services.

'100 MILLION NEW JOBS'

Ma said Alibaba was constantly adapting to the changing e-commerce environment, as staying at the forefront of innovation was key to its continued success.

"In the coming years, we anticipate the birth of a re-imagined retail industry driven by the integration of online, offline, logistics and data across a single value chain," he said.

"With e-commerce itself rapidly becoming a "traditional business," pure e-commerce players will soon face tremendous challenges."

A shift to mobile revenue was one such change, he said, with mobile climbing from a single-digit percentage to three-years of total revenue from Alibaba's Chinese retail marketplaces, in the space of two years.

"This is why we are adapting, and it's why we strive to play a major role in the advancement of this new economic environment," Ma said.

Innovations like Alibaba's Qianniu app, which helps online businesses to improve sales and marketing while enhancing efficiency, were an example of the type of projects the company aimed to focus on.

"In 20 years, we hope to serve two billion consumers around the world, empower 10 million profitable businesses and create 100 million jobs," Ma said, adding: "This will be an even more difficult journey than the one behind us."

news.com.au

 
 
LISTEN : Newstalk ZB Political Editor Barry Soper speaks to Andrew Dickens on KPMG Early Edition

Mr Ma - who's worth around $50 billion - met with John Key in Beijing late yesterday. He made his money through founding the online commerce platform Ali Baba.

Standing alongside the Prime Minister, he heaped praise on the country, which he says is loved by many Chinese.

"At least 20 of my colleagues retired from Ali Baba. They're all very young, in their 40s, they all go to New Zealand."

"I asked what they do apart from the golf and green things and they say it's the people there."

It wasn't all social, with the Chinese billionaire also talking business.

Jack Ma told the entrepreneurs luncheon Kiwi businesspeople find it difficult to access the Chinese market.

Mr Ma said he wants to make that easier with his multi-platform organisation.

"We have Ali Baba University. We would either have courses in New Zealand or invite the entrepreneurs in New Zealand to stay in China for two weeks for training."

"The second is that we're going to open an Ali Baba business embassy next year in New Zealand."

John Key is in China meeting business and political leaders.

 

 


Innovation "Made in China" - The Case of Alibaba and the role of Net-based Small Business

Innovation is a key driver for economic development and social progress and small business is one of the best ways for people to express their willingness and capability to innovate.  Pervasive business ownership has, therefore, been the foundation in many societies for the continued improvement of people’s economic wellbeing. In the People’ Republic of China, however, private business ownership was prohibited between 1957 and 1978. Productive innovations were extremely restricted and as a consequence, China’s economy was on the verge of collapse by the end of 1978. The Chinese people had suffered a historic setback.

Alibaba’s growth, driven by unleashing grassroots entrepreneurship, has become an exemplar of China’s innovation in the 21st century.  Started by 18 young people in 1999, Alibaba has grown into a giant global internet platform and has made many invaluable contributions to China’s progress. Highlighting the importance of pervasive small business ownership in unleashing grassroots innovation and improving economic wellbeing, Professor Lowrey will discuss Alibaba’s innovative strategies and explain the economic theory behind its inspiring success.

 

 

 

Dr. Ying Lowrey is Professor of Economics at Tsinghua University and Deputy Director of the Tsinghua Research Center for Chinese Entrepreneurs, and a member of the Academic Committee for Alibaba Group Research Institute. Her teaching and research interests include economics of innovation and entrepreneurship in the internet and platform economy, the modern microfinance market, business demographics, characteristics of business owners, and the role of free enterprise and competition in the macroeconomy. 

She received her economics Ph.D. from Duke University, economics MA from Yale University and mathematics BS from Wuhan University. Before joining Tsinghua University in 2012, she served as senior economist at the Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration and has taught economics at George Washington University and San Diego State University.

 

Selected publications 

 

 100millionjobcrisis

100millionjobcrisis

Founder of Ali Baba commits his work for Chinese on internet to generate 100 million microentrepren…chris macraeNov 23, 200950 views

Founder of Ali Baba commits his work for Chinese on internet to generate 100 million microentrepreneur jobs in 2010s - who else would you vote at the centre of 100 million job creation leagues?
=====================update sumer 2016:
unlike oiher years spent with bangaldeshi inspired youth, i spent 2015-2016 mainly with a class of chinese female students - what brilliant minds and tirelss sources of human energy - i hope this summary of why the whole world can celebrate what jack ma is doing is near to the mark - but as always look forward to editing any errors which are mine alone
chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk washington dc text 240 316 8157
======================
was english language tutoring

In 1995 he was sent to the usa on an exchange mission and encountered the worldwideweb - then unknown in China. He determined the www would be the biggest job creating innovation of his (or his generations) life and hopefully of every Chinese entrepreneur he could valuably link into.

Over the next 15 years his wizard coding teams went from something that was little more than an electronic yellow pages for small businesses to conceiving sustainability generation's 2 greatest retailing platforms china or the world may ever have seen..

the taobao platform is the most valuable job creating concept retailers have ever mediated because it reverses the western trend of globalisiation of retailers, bankers and big corporations squeezing out local and small enterprises from having a market; how taobao did that is an extraordinarily detailed story but note how Ma was concerned to ensure even the most cut-off of Chinese villagers could start up on tao bao (rural ecommerce is one of the innovations that Ma has led the www purpose to linkin)

His other mall was pitched at the more usual high cost fashions of big global merchandisers. Because of complex property laws in chinese cities, most expensive retailers are not much of a joy to shop in. So ali baba created a lifestyle -eg celebrate singles day 11/11 shopping virtually rather than the physically exhausting interaction in The West's biggest shopping days of the year)

SO 365/24/7 consumers of ali baba can choose who they value developing most with their purchasing power as well as searching merchandise with global image or local cultural joy

Alibaba has become china's and probably the word's largest retailing channel. It does this with next to no merchandise but brilliant coding so that every store front on its platforms delivers with equal reliability. Hunting out exactly how Ma forms partnerships so that big data analysis benefits the smallest enterprises and most local consumers ought to be a job of whomever is sustainability goals greatest economist.

Intriguingly to ensure he could compete with the chinese internet companies that raced to co-create the www that Ma had opened space for in china, Ma IPO'd Alibaba through a process 2010-2015 while developing his secret sustainability weapon under private ownership. AlIpay is china's number 1 financial inclusion delivery system and maybe global youth most humanly productive coding achievement to date.

Comparing china's top 10 internet properties with the west's is very interesting. Are the consuming behaviours on ali baba more sustainable than those on amazon or ebay or paypal? Are the learnng behaviours on baidu more sustaining of youth than on google or coursera or microsoft's linkedin. Time will tell but note how speaking english, chinese and coding (as well as mother tongue) are probably what educators anywhere on planet earth should NOW be most valuing their global youth's future freedom to thrive entrepreneurially around.

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