Alibaba chief executive Daniel Zhang Yong announced that Alibaba would be restructuring its Tmall e-commerce business and upgrading its Alibaba Cloud business unit as they become more strategically important.
As part of the reorganisation, Tmall will now include the e-commerce platform, Tmall Supermarket, and Tmall’s import and export business, according to the statement posted on Alibaba’s official Weibo account.
The renamed Alibaba Cloud Intelligence business group will now be overseen by Alibaba chief technology officer Jeff Zhang Jianfeng, who will also serve as its president, replacing Simon Hu Xiaoming. A New Retail technology business group will also be set up, to be overseen by Wu Zeming.
The Alibaba Cloud Intelligence platforms are part of a strategy to establish smart technology infrastructure for the digital economy era, the company said in its statement.
The restructuring comes hot on the heels of a record-breaking US$30.8bil (RM129bil) Singles’ Day earlier this month and is the first significant reorganisation by Zhang since he was named chairman-designate. Alibaba co-founder and executive chairman Jack Ma, known as Ma Yun on the mainland, will step down next September and hand over the reins to Zhang.
The reorganisation highlights the increasing importance that Alibaba is placing on its cloud, cross-border e-commerce and New Retail businesses, a term coined by Ma that refers to the integration of both online and offline shopping experiences.
Alibaba Cloud is currently the third-largest cloud computing services provider for infrastructure as a service (IaaS), behind Amazon and Microsoft, and is the largest provider for cloud computing services on the mainland.
It competes with rivals such as Tencent Cloud in the mainland market. The company’s large trove of data from its e-commerce businesses have helped the company branch out into providing cloud-based industry solutions based on artificial intelligence and machine learning.
The Hangzhou-based company is also betting big on New Retail, and has spent billions in recent years to invest in offline retail stores as it seeks to help improve operational efficiency and customer experience by integrating online and offline e-commerce. – South China Morning Post