Visiting Alibaba

We have visited the most famous Chinese company Alibaba Group in Hangzhou. The visitor center which is serving also as a museum for presents received from politicians and countries from all over the world was magnificent in the heart of the Alibaba campus. We learned about past, presence and future ambitions of this retail and payment giant.

Arriving at Hangzhou

One of the most admired companies of China is Alibaba, based in Hangzhou, near to Shanghai. We were very excited about the visit and full of expectations. Alibaba is considered to be one of the highlights of our learning journey and we are happy to share insights we received with you.

The city of Hangzhou is also called a city of love. With its over 8 million inhabitants it is a midsized Chinese city with a very modern architecture and a long history.

Hangzhou is also one of the most green cities in China and is a melting pot for start-ups and fintech companies. It is also the hometown of Alibaba’s co-founder Jack Ma, a former English teacher, who just recently stepped down to pursue philanthropy in education.

Alibaba’s visitor center

We were warmly welcomed at Alibaba’ s visitor center, where they presented us the company’s history, presence and future.

Alibaba’s workforce is very young, the average age of the employees is just 29 years. Alibaba’s history started in 1999 when Jack Ma came back to his hometown after his studies. It’s amazing what they have achieved in the last 30 years.

They have started as a start-up in a small apartment, growing only slowly in the first years. These days, they have more than 2 billion users.

Jack Ma in his red jacket and the initial group of founders


Alibaba’s business results

Right at the front they proudly presented us their key values:

Customer first, employees second and shareholders third.

In alignment with these values, they provide one of the best services worldwide, delivering goods within 24 hours in China and in 72 hours outside China. This is enabled by a real-time monitoring of activities, usage of AI and excellent logistics supported by a network of partners.

It is unbelievable and even difficult to imagine how big this company is for us working in European context. Just imagine that Alibaba made a turnover of 25 billion US dollars on a single day promotion (a version of black Friday) on November 11th.

The world’s larges retail platform


Beyond business targets

The founders and board members have far bigger objectives than just earn money. The company gives 0.3% of its revenue on philanthropy and charity. They support diverse projects in the field of education, reducing carbon footage, planting trees, improving emergency service in rural areas and using their unique technology background to find lost children. Within their Reunion project almost 3000 missing children already found their way back home by sending alerts in the neighborhood within the radius of 100 km as fast as possible. They also closely cooperate with United Nations on diverse initiatives.

Providing a system to motivate citizens and collect scores on reducing carbon footage in order to plant trees. In cooperation with the UN Development Program


Global ambitions

Ali Pay, Alibaba’s payment solution is already available in many European countries and their cooperation with merchants is growing every day. Their financial services are not just about mobile payment, but they are active in the field of insurance as well as risk detection and fraud management where they provide a state-of-the-art solution. They also actively cooperate with international brands to protect intellectual property.

Global sell, global fun, global buy

Would you like to know more?