All business based online now: Alibaba CEO

online sales1The internet is no longer a business model but rather an essential piece of infrastructure on which all businesses need to operate, says Alibaba CEO, Daniel Zhang.

“All businesses are based on the internet now,” Zhang told the World Internet Conference held in China late last year, likening it to a basic utility such as water, electricity and gas.

“It can only transform the future of the business landscape when it’s combined with other industries.”

About 2000 attendees including world government and business leaders were in Wuzhen, a canal city similar to Venice in eastern China’s Zhejiang Province, for the second annual conference, hosted by the Chinese government, a forum for topics such as cyber security, innovations in technology and developments in e-commerce. Chinese President, Xi Jinping, opened the conference as its keynote speaker.

During his speech, Zhang said  the integration of the internet with other industries led to the success last month of Single’s Day, the largest one-day online shopping event in the world. The annual e-commerce bonanza, held every November 11, generated $14.3 billion in total gross merchandise volume because of the ecosystem of businesses that the company has built with its merchant, logistics and data-analysis partners. In comparison, Cyber Monday, the US equivalent of the Single’s Day, brought in just $3.1 billion this year.

“We have formed a complete chain including a merchandise pool, payment system, membership management and data analytics tools to serve customers and partners that share common goals and standards with Alibaba,” Zhang said.

Indeed, businesses will further transform as they use “big data” to better serve their customers. Alibaba has long touted itself not just as an e-commerce company but one of data as well. The information collected from the 40 million transactions a day on the company’s online marketplaces – demographic data of buyers, their spending habits – can benefit manufacturers when enhancing product design and help brands grow their businesses in China.

“Data is becoming energy and blood of the new business landscape,” Zhang said.

Other Alibaba executives were also in attendance, including executive chairman Jack Ma and Lucy Peng, the CEO of Alibaba-affiliate Ant Financial Services Group.

This story first appeared on Inside Retail’s sister site, Inside Retail Asia.

Want more Inside Retail? Subscribe to Inside Retail Weekly now and get our premium print publication delivered to your door every week. 

Comments

Comment Manually

I have read and agree to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inside Retail Polls

What is your business doing to become more sustainable?
Vote

Twitter

Australian mergers and acquisitions by private equity firms made up a third of the major transactions in 2018, acco… https://t.co/DZ0pEdOXg0

4 hours ago

Despite declining house prices and modest wage growth, Australian consumers have pushed spending growth to a 14 mon… https://t.co/Mgg6QeqrvC

6 days ago

Australians are predicted to spend $3.4 billion across #retail this #Easter, according to the @OZRetailershttps://t.co/X9ShvwYfZt

1 week ago
x

SUBSCRIBE
FREE NEWS BRIEFS Get breaking news delivered