SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 28 -- Jack Ma, founder and chairman of China's Alibaba Group, hosted a discussion at Bishop Auditorium, Stanford Graduate School of Business, with Chinese IT professionals from across Silicon Valley on the future of e-commerce and the importance of continued development of technologies that support cutting-edge e-commerce platforms.
Ma shared his vision on technology as the driving force in e-commerce and reinforcing Alibaba Group’s commitment to become the leading technologically innovative e-commerce firm in the world.
He was joined by Wang Jian, chief architect of Alibaba Group, who explained the company’s plans to build a world-class R&D center, and its status as a place for engineers who have the passion to make a true difference in people’s lives.
In anticipation of long-term exponential growth in e-commerce as greater numbers of people migrate online around in the world, Alibaba Group would be upgrading its operations and investing in human capital in the coming year, Ma said.
The Group announced plans in January to hire an additional 5,000 staff in 2009, and plans significant financial investment in its technologies and other operations in the coming years.
According to Ma, despite the current economic climate, each of Alibaba Group’s businesses has continued to thrive:
- Taobao.com, China’s largest consumer e-commerce company, recently revealed a 131 percent year-on-year increase in transaction volume for 2008 and has surpassed China’s biggest mass retailer in transaction volume. Alibaba Group will be investing approximately US$728 million in Taobao.com over the coming five years.
- Alibaba.com, the world's largest business-to-business marketplace, continued to grow last year. As of Sept. 30, the site had nearly 36 million registered users, including nearly seven million registered users in more than 240 countries and regions on the English-language international marketplace, an increase of 40 percent year-on-year and ten percent quarter-on-quarter. The total number of storefronts on our marketplaces grew to 4.2 million, an increase of 54 percent year-on-year and ten percent quarter-on-quarter. The number of paying members on our combined marketplaces was 398,351, an increase of 46 percent year-on-year and eight percent quarter-on-quarter.
- Alipay.com, the leading third party online payment platform in China, holds more than 50 percent of the market share. As of 31 October 2008, Alipay was facilitating more than two million transactions per day with a daily payment volume of nearly US$70 million from a registered user base of more than 110 million accounts.
- Alisoft.com develops and delivers internet-based business management solutions using the Software as a Service (SaaS) model, and commands 40 percent of the Chinese SaaS market. It was the first in Asia to launch a “software interconnection” platform that integrated advanced Internet, telecommunication and software applications.
- Yahoo! Koubei is the primary classified listing website in China. It provides more than 20 million registered users with local information on a wide range of topics including shopping, real estate, restaurants, travel, entertainment and employment.
Ma was accompanied by all the key members of the Alibaba Group senior leadership team.
Established in 1999, Alibaba Group is a global leader in e-commerce that aims to make it easy for anyone to business anywhere. It is a family of Internet-based businesses encompassing B2B, retail, payment facilitation, business management software and classified listings. The privately held Alibaba Group serves users in more than 240 countries and employs approximately 12,000 people globally.