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Thread: Jack Ma & Alibaba

  1. #61
    Alipay and wechat pay are main stream payment methods in China.

  2. #62
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    Has anyone here actually shopped on Alibaba?

    MartialArtsMart.com is a small biz. Wondering if this would be an effective platform now.

    JULY 23, 2019 / 4:35 AM / UPDATED 3 HOURS AGO
    Alibaba welcomes U.S. small businesses to sell globally on its platform
    Melissa Fares
    3 MIN READ

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd (BABA.N) will now allow small businesses in the United States to sell on Alibaba.com, the company said on Tuesday, an effort to tap into the business-to-business e-commerce market and fend off fierce competition from rivals like Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O).


    FILE PHOTO: A logo of Alibaba Group is seen at an exhibition during the World Intelligence Congress in Tianjin, China May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

    Previously, U.S.-based businesses were only able to buy items on Alibaba.com.

    Roughly one-third of buyers on Alibaba.com are U.S.-based. More than 95% of sellers come from China. This plan will open up markets to U.S. merchants in countries including India, Brazil and Canada. U.S. merchants will also be able to sell to other U.S.-based businesses.

    Alibaba’s pitch to U.S. small businesses comes as the company faces lean e-commerce revenue growth, which has been further threatened by the U.S.-China trade spat and increased competition from rivals such as recently listed Pinduoduo Inc (PDD.O).

    Alibaba, which does not sell inventory of its own, hopes to win over local U.S. businesses as their marketplace platform of choice by offering small- and medium-sized businesses global selling power. Alibaba highlighted its interest in winning over manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors.

    Last month, the company launched an English-language website for its Tmall Global marketplace aimed at merchants, in an attempt to double the number of international brands on the platform to 40,000 in the next three years.

    Rival Amazon, in addition to selling its own inventory, allows third-party vendors to list products for sale on its website. Those vendors may store their products in Amazon’s warehouses or ship directly to customers.

    The business-to-business e-commerce market (B2B) is valued at $23.9 trillion, according to the U.S. International Trade Commission. The business-to-consumer e-commerce market is valued at $3.8 trillion.

    Alibaba said U.S. sellers will have to pay a membership fee of roughly $2,000 to get their online stores on Alibaba.com up and running, in addition to any marketing and advertising costs. Amazon charges third-party sellers by the month or per item.

    “You get to compete and act like a multinational company in a way you’ve never had the tools or technology to be able to do so,” John Caplan, head of North America B2B at Alibaba Group, told Reuters.

    The United States is the first market where the company is focusing on globalizing supply, Caplan said, but Alibaba has a “very clear approach to other markets.”

    Reporting by Melissa Fares in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler
    Gene Ching
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  3. #63
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    alibaba & the trade war

    Alibaba: There's a trade war going on? Could've fooled us – just check out these swollen digits
    Cloud biz still dwarfed by retail but everything's up
    By Paul Kunert 16 Aug 2019 at 17:00



    Alibaba, China's nearest equivalent to Amazon, is weathering the "uncertain economic" landscape caused in part by the "trade war" between the US and Middle Kingdom governments.

    The group reported Q1 revenues of ¥114.924bn ($16.751bn) for the three months to 30 June fiscal '20, up a whopping 42 per cent year-on-year. There was an upward swing recorded across all of its divisions, though the online retail, food delivery services and cloud services were the big growth drivers.

    The Core division – comprised of China retail, wholesale, international commerce, logistics and local consumer services – was up 44 per cent to ¥99.544bn ($14.133bn/ £11.63bn). The retail element brought in ¥75.601bn ($11.013bn/ £8.835bn)

    The relatively affluent middle class in China, 300 million people living in large cities, continues to be one of the "big secular" trends that Alibaba has tapped into, said exec chairman Joe Tsai on an earnings call.

    "We have talked about the desire by these consumers to upgrade the quality of product they buy, especially the pursuit of brand and imported goods," he added.

    Clearly Apple might have something to say about that, having watched its iPhone sales drop by double digits in the first half of its year. But that's another story.

    Tsai also spoke of the "rise of urbanisation" happening in third, fourth and fifth-tier cities in China, with roughly 500 million people in these locales with a consumption economy of $2.3 trillion that is forecast to rocket to $7 trillion by the end of 2030. Chinese companies tend to plan for the longer term rather than being driven by the whims of Wall Street.

    Alibaba had 674 million active monthly users in its Core unit, up 20 million on the prior quarter.

    Cloud Computing remains a fraction of the retail operation but is growing fast, up 66 per cent year-on-year to ¥7.787bn ($1.105bn). This was based on "an increase in average revenue per customer," said Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang.

    The fourth largest cloud provider worldwide didn't break out public-versus-private cloud sales figures, but said private jumped 250 per cent year-on-year.

    Zhang said the work is to boost "high-valued added service while rationalising... commodity products". He added that it is still beefing up investment in "talent and technology infrastructure".

    Alibaba has 52 availability zones made up of one or more data centres in 19 regions around the world.

    The Digital Media and Entertainment unit was up 6 per cent to ¥6.312bn ($896m) and revenue from the Innovation initiative and others jumped 21 per cent to ¥1.281bn ($182m).

    Group operating profit came in at ¥24.375bn ($3.46bn) versus an operating loss of ¥4.863bn ($690m)a year earlier. Net income was ¥21.24bn ($3bn). ®
    Alibaba is up? At least someone is benefitting from the trade war.
    Gene Ching
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  4. #64
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    $38.7b

    If Jack really wanted to promote Chinese martial arts, he could donate .00001% of his net worth and keep Kung Fu Tai Chi afloat for some time. I'm just sayin...

    Jack. Call me. Please?

    What Is Jack Ma's Net Worth?
    Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, grew rich on the internet and China's embrace of technology. Here is his story.

    Brian O'Connell
    Sep 19, 2019 12:03 PM EDT

    TheStreet

    Jack Ma is reportedly worth $38.7 billion as of 2019.

    As the founder and executive chairman of China-based Alibaba Group (BABA - Get Report) makes his way into retirement, the multi-billionaire can expect that amount of money to grow substantially in the coming year.

    That's what happens when you lead one of the largest e-commerce companies the world has ever seen - even if you retire, as Ma is doing this month.

    Here's the story of Jack Ma's wealth and his rise as the founder of Alibaba, one of the largest companies in the world, which set the record as the biggest public stock offering ever, at $25 billion, only five years ago.

    It's a story where Ma gets to found his own worldwide business empire and leave his own unique personal stamp on the proceedings every step of the way.

    The Rise of Jack Ma
    Jack Ma, once an English teacher and later a struggling entrepreneur, walks away from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. as the 19th wealthiest individual in the world, and lands just behind India's Mukesh Ambani as the richest person in all of Asia.

    It was only 20 years ago that Ma was laboring out of his small apartment to bring Alibaba to life, which he did in monumental fashion, creating a business-to-business technology behemoth worth $460 billion.

    Since Ma owns a 5.3% stake in Alibaba, his wealth will continue to expand, and any stock he owns, or even sells, will likely add to his substantial wealth.

    That surely wasn't the future Ma or his family envisioned when he was born Sept. 10, 1964 in Hangzhou, China. Ma was a dedicated student right off the bat, taking the time to learn English at a young age, and began his entrepreneurial career as a local tour guide who used his pay to take more classes, learn more English, and save for college.

    His initial goal was to become an English teacher in Hangzhou, as the demand for learning the language from the Chinese locals expanded at a significant pace in the 1970s and 80s. After some fits and starts, Ma graduated from the Hangzhou Teacher's Institute and found work right away as an English teacher, a position that didn't last long as Ma set his sights on higher business goals.

    In short order, Ma applied for a job as a manager at Kentucky Fried Chicken, which was expanding into China. Despite the availability of 23 management positions for 24 candidates, Ma didn't get the job.

    He then set his sights on Harvard University, where he applied 10 times for admission to the prestigious Ivy League school. Each time, he received a rejection letter.

    But fate has a way of intervening and while Jack Ma was traveling in the U.S. with an eye on Harvard, he began experimenting with the emerging internet and noticed the lack of a presence for Chinese-based companies, technologies and online commerce platforms.

    Soon Ma opened his first company, Haibo Translation Agency, but his interest in the internet never waned. He decided to create a website that focused on China businesses and opportunities, and found that multiple investors from his home country were interested in the venture and wanted to become partners.

    Intrigued, Ma opened his second company, called China Pages, registering the internet domain name in the U.S. Business grew and within three years the company was worth almost $1 million.

    That was all Ma needed to know about the power and potential of the internet and in 1999, he opened Alibaba in his home city of Hangzhou. With Alibaba, Ma began pushing the concept of a China-based business-to-business online platform that connected buyers and sellers of all kinds of products and services, and soon was rewarded with a venture funding injection of $35 million.

    Ma and Alibaba never looked back and by 2014, the company was worth $25 billion, as a result of the largest initial public offering in Wall Street History.

    Alibaba grew in size and scope, and by 2018 had become the premiere online market place in China. The same year, Jack Ma announced he would retire in September, 2019, and be succeeded by Daniel Zhang, now the current chief executive officer at Alibaba.

    Just how big is Alibaba as Jack Ma leaves the company this year? Put it this way: China's Singles Day has surpassed Black Friday as the world's biggest shopping day of the year, spurred higher by the impact Ma's company has had on the burgeoning Chinese economy.

    Public and Private Investments
    Jack Ma also blended a series of public and private investments into his wealth accumulation strategy.

    In 2010, he established his own venture capital company, called Yunfeng Capital, with four partners. That gave Ma and his partners, known as the "Zhejiang Five" after their native province, the ability to focus his investments on exactly where he wanted them to be - on Chinese companies.

    The firm quickly began seeding young, up-and-coming companies, especially in the healthcare, insurance, technology, and clean energy sectors, where Ma saw the most potential.

    Ma also began making private investments through holding companies and private equity fund groups, mainly in commercial and residential real estate properties in Asia and Europe, along with select investments in private companies through Ma's Hangzhou Yunxi Investment Group (he owns 99% of the company.)

    Ma also steered some of his ample capital into the Chinese entertainment sector, a favorite target, given Ma's personal propensity for music and film. One partnership, with Huayi Brothers, a theatrical film producer, gave Ma access to dozens of mainland film releases that he could profit from over the five-year timetable of the deal.

    How Does Jack Ma Spend His Money?
    One reason Jack Ma called it quits was that he said he wanted to spend more time on his charitable passion - the Jack Ma Foundation.

    It's there where Ma spends most of his money. The foundation's charter is to beef up education, the environment and public health across the globe, a process that's well underway.

    For example, the Jack Ma Foundation launched the Netpreneur charity that provides a charitable grant of $1 million to 10 different African entrepreneurs, so they can pursue the same dreams Jack Ma did. The Foundation has also set aside $14.6 million for educational needs in Tibet, and Alibaba's own foundation paid for the erection of over 1,000 new homes in Nepal after a devastating earthquake.

    Ma does send some time and money on one of his favorite pastimes - performing live as a musician and entertainer. For Alibaba's 18th birthday celebration, Jack Ma rocked the house in a tribute to Michael Jackson. Ma also funded his own kung-fu movie, where he appeared as himself along with a host of celebrities, including Jet Li and Donnie Yen.

    Jack Ma is also well known for his personal extravagance, especially when it comes to his time with Alibaba.

    To celebrate his retirement from the company he founded, he held a huge "going away" party at a 60,000 seat soccer stadium.

    Additionally, every year on "Ali Day," Ma presides over a mass marriage ceremony of over 100 couples who work for Alibaba. The ceremony doesn't give the marriages a "legal" stamp - it's just Ma's way of confirming the weddings of his employees and allows him to encourage the couples to be prosperous, have lots of kids, and live the Alibaba way.

    No doubt, Jack Ma is a multi-faceted individual, and with Alibaba, he's left his personal stamp on the corporate landscape, while making tens of billions of dollars that he's taking with him as he departs from the business stage - for now.
    Gene Ching
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  5. #65
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    1B by 2024


    Alibaba Aims to Serve 1 Billion Customers a Year by 2024

    By Evie Liu
    Sept. 24, 2019 2:30 pm ET


    STR/AFP/GettyImages

    Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba plans to nearly double the gross transactions on its platforms in the next five years. On the second day of the company’s 2019 investor day in Hangzhou, China, investors got a comprehensive picture of the future growth plan.

    Alibaba management maintained its revenue guidance of 500 billion yuan for fiscal 2020. The company’s near-term goal is to increase annual active consumers from the current 730 million to over one billion in the next five years and nearly double its annual gross merchandise volume from 5.7 trillion yuan in fiscal 2019 to over 10 trillion yuan by 2024. Over the long term, Alibaba (ticker: BABA) wants to reach two billion global consumers by fiscal 2036, create 100 million jobs, and support over 10 million profitable small to medium businesses on its platforms.

    The growth of Alibaba’s consumer-facing business should be largely supported by three drivers, the company said at the investor day event:

    User growth. Alibaba added over 200 million users to its Chinese retail marketplace over the past two years, as well as 130 million active users on its international marketplaces. The company is now 85% penetrated in China’s developed areas and 40% penetrated in less developed areas, which suggests big room for growth still.

    Category expansion. Alibaba’s digital ecosystem has become more powerful and the company plans to leverage the massive number of consumers on its more established platforms to help grow the relatively nascent areas. There are plenty of cross-selling opportunities between business segments, such as the core retail marketplace Taobao, food-delivery platform Ele.me, and digital payment tool Alipay. “It will be difficult for competition to catch up,” wrote Citibank analyst Alicia Yap in a Tuesday note.

    Globalization. Alibaba is expanding to many international markets through acquisitions and local partnerships via platforms such as AliExpress, Lazada, and AliPay.

    Alibaba management also updated investors on the latest developments of its different business areas.

    Alibaba’s cloud unit AliCloud remains the dominant player in China with a 43% market share. Alicloud is expanding aggressively in the Asia Pacific region with presence in Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Macau. Given its regional expertise, AliCloud also is targeting companies from developed countries that want to enter the Chinese market. By controlling costs and improving efficiencies, AliCloud is seeing improved profit growth. Still, CFO Maggie Wu noted that profitability is not the first priority now, and the company expects a short-to-medium trade-off of profit margin for long-term strategic values.

    Alibaba’s video-streaming website Youku saw 46% year-over-year growth in paying subscribers during the June quarter, driven by its improving original content production. Alibaba also owns an online ticketing platform for live events called Damai, which has over 70% of China’s market share as of 2018. Alibaba aims to provide online infrastructure for the “underdigitalized” entertainment industry in China, providing support services like finance, production, distribution, and venue management.

    Alibaba’s digital finance subsidiary Ant Financial covers wealth management, micro financing, insurance, credit service, and digital payment platform Alipay. Over 740 million consumers and 28 million small businesses use Ant Financial for digital financing, according to Alibaba, and they have been using more of Ant Financial’s service offerings. About 80% of consumers are using more than three service categories—versus 70% disclosed last year—and 40% are using all five categories—versus 30% from last year. By the second quarter of 2019, Alipay had 900 million annual active users in China and 1.2 billion including global users. Currently, Alipay is accepted by offline merchants in 56 markets and has developed partnership with local e-wallets in 10 markets.

    Alibaba’s logistics branch Cainiao now has a global parcel network Cainiao Guoguo with over 100 million annual users and a last-mile delivery network Cainiao Post with over 40,000 stations.

    For Raymond James analyst Aaron Kessler, Alibaba remains his top Internet mega-cap pick. Kessler believes the continued solid growth in China’s e-commerce market will leave Alibaba—with a 60% market share—the biggest winner. The stock is also valued attractively at about 10.5 times Kessler’s forecast for Alibaba’s 2020 earnings. Kessler rates Alibaba shares as Buy with a target price of $280.

    Write to Evie Liu at evie.liu@barrons.com
    Now that Jack Ma has stepped down, I'm hoping he'll get back to more Kung Fu promotion. Imagine the power he has to do this now.
    Gene Ching
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  6. #66
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    Do you know Jack?

    For anyone here too lazy to review this thread, here's some cliff notes.


    Alibaba cofounder Jack Ma — the richest man in China — once starred in a kung fu movie his company produced. Here are 6 of his most extravagant moments.

    Taylor Nicole Rogers Sep 17, 2019, 10:10 AM


    Alibaba cofounder Jack Ma starred in a kung fu film produced by the company in 2017. Courtesy of Alibaba

    Recently retired Alibaba chairman Jack Ma is "the most flamboyant tech founder on the planet," Business Insider's Sinead Baker recently wrote.

    Under his leadership, Alibaba grew from a 17-person company operating out of Ma's apartment to a $460 billion empire.
    But it wasn't just business for Ma. In his 20 years at the helm of Alibaba, Ma — the richest person in China — also starred in a kung fu film and officiated an annual mass employee wedding.

    Ma's successor, meanwhile, Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang, is "slight and soft-spoken," according to Bloomberg.

    Jack Ma is "the most flamboyant tech founder on the planet," Business Insider's Sinead Baker recently wrote.

    To celebrate the end of his 20 years leading the online marketplace, Ma celebrated his retirement with a 60,000-person retirement party in an Olympic-sized stadium.

    The days of seeing one of Alibaba's top executives act in a film and officiate weddings may be over, however. Ma's successor, Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang, keeps such a low profile that an employee's parent once mistook him for a janitor in Alibaba's headquarters, according to Bloomberg.

    Keep reading to learn more about the most extravagant moments of Jack Ma's time at Alibaba.

    Every year, Ma officiates a mass wedding for Alibaba employees in May.


    Jack Ma presides over an employee mass wedding of 102 couples. REUTERS/Stringer

    At celebrations for "Ali Day" — the company's annual extravaganza in honor of the company's employees and their families — Ma always "marries" 102 couples that work for him, Business Insider previously reported.

    The 2019 event was live-streamed on Youku, a video-sharing service owned by Alibaba. Ma drew criticism after encouraging the couples to have lots of sex and bear children.

    The wedding isn't a legal ceremony, but rather a celebration of all the Alibaba couples who have gotten married over the past year.

    Read more: Inside Alibaba's bizarre mass wedding for employees, which is presided over by Jack Ma

    At Alibaba's 2017 annual party, Ma put on a performance while dressed as Micheal Jackson.

    Yicai Global 第一财经

    @yicaichina
    Jack Ma performs Michael Jackson dance on 2017 Alibaba Annual Party🤣

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    Ma danced to a medley featuring clips from "Billie Jean" and "Dangerous" while wearing Jackson's iconic "Dangerous" costume, a video of the performance on Twitter shows.

    Mid performance, Ma removed his mask to reveal his identity to the audience, who went wild.

    He also took to the stage at a music festival in October 2017, where he and Chinese singer Li Jian performed for the audience.


    Ma performs at his retirement party in September 2019. Courtesy of Alibaba

    As Business Insider's Joe Ciolli reported in 2017, the festival was part of the Alibaba Cloud-hosted Computing Conference. Ma took to the stage in jeans and sunglasses and sang a combination of duets and solos.

    The performance was a surprise to the audience, Business Insider previously reported.

    Alibaba produced a kung fu movie in 2017 — and Ma starred in it.


    Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, speaks at the WSJD Live conference in Laguna Beach, California October 27, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

    In the 20-minute film, Ma battles eight attackers with his tai chi skills, Business Insider previously reported. Over 100 million people watched the film online.

    And then, of course, there was Alibaba's 60,000-person party in September 2019, which simultaneously celebrated Alibaba's 20-year anniversary and Jack Ma's retirement.


    Courtesy of Alibaba

    The party was held in an Olympic stadium and featured a procession of employees reminiscent of "the Olympic Games' Parade of Nations," according to The Wall Street Journal.

    Ma performed a rendition of Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up" with a group of senior executives on a portable stage that was pulled around the arena, the Journal reported.

    Read more: Inside Jack Ma's 60,000-person retirement party, which was held in an Olympic stadium and featured employee performances that made Ma cry

    After the party, Ma gifted each Alibaba employee a bottle of chardonnay featuring a hologram of himself.

    Matthew Brennan
    @mbrennanchina
    Jack Ma's special message in a bottle. Gift to #Alibaba staff for the company's 20th anniversary.

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    According to the Drinks Business, every employee — including interns — was given one of these bottles.

    The wine was made at Ma's winery in France — a close look at the bottle's label in the video above shows the name of his winery.

    To activate the hologram, recipients scan a QR code on their phone and then slide the device into a drawer in the box to make the bottle light up with a hologram of Ma, a video of the gift posted to Twitter shows. Ma delivers a brief message before dissolving into flames.
    If you haven't seen Gong Shou Dao, click here.
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    Universal’s Beijing Resort, facial recognition & big data

    ASIA OCTOBER 16, 2019 11:00PM PT
    Universal’s Beijing Resort to Partner With Alibaba on Digitization
    By REBECCA DAVIS


    CREDIT: COURTESY OF 20TH CENTURY FOX

    Amid fierce controversy about the leverage China has over U.S. entertainment firms with significant mainland operations, Universal Beijing Resort and Alibaba announced a strategic partnership Thursday to digitize the forthcoming theme park in China’s capital.

    Facial recognition and the use of big data will be the norm at the new resort, which will use an Alibaba operating system for park management and operations, the companies said. For visitors, this means they will be able to use Alibaba’s facial-recognition technology to enter the park, access lockers and express lanes, and pay for merchandise and meals. They can also skip lines and order food via an Alibaba app. Tmall, Alibaba’s e-commerce platform, will work with the park to co-market products.

    Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts made the trip to Beijing for Thursday’s announcement, marking the project’s importance for the company.

    Roberts said that operating a park was about “making it fun and easy for our guests to enjoy their time with family and friends” as much as it was about the rides. “Our partnership with Alibaba will help us do exactly that,” he said.

    Foreign companies in China must have a local partner in order to do business in the country and access its enormous market. Universal Beijing Resort is owned by Beijing International Resort Company, a joint venture between Beijing Shouhuan Cultural Tourism Investment Company and Universal Parks and Resorts, a unit of Comcast NBCUniversal.

    The collaboration will allow for the enactment of a “multi-dimensional data-enabled operations management solution for the industry” and the establishment of a “truly digitized theme park,” said Daniel Zhang, Alibaba Group’s executive chairman and CEO. “The future of commerce is driven by technology and big data, and digitization will be the source of brand-new growth opportunities for all businesses.”

    Located in the suburban outskirts of Beijing, the theme park was first announced in 2014; construction began in 2016. Its opening date has been pushed back twice from 2019 to 2020 and now 2021. Once fully built, it will be the largest Universal park in the world. It is the fifth Universal resort worldwide and the third in Asia.

    On Saturday, the resort announced new details for the park’s layout. It will be divided between seven themed lands: “Kung Fu Panda Land of Awesomeness,” “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” ”Transformers: Metrobase,” “Minion Land,” “Jurassic World Isla Nublar,” ”Hollywood” and “WaterWorld.”

    “Our theme park will showcase the best Universal rides, as well as all-new, unique experiences specially created to reflect China’s rich cultural heritage,” said Universal Beijing Resort president and general manager Tom Mehrmann.

    The “Kung Fu Panda” land will be a world first, and the “Transformers” section will feature an expanded story about the character Metrobase, who chooses Beijing as the site of a new headquarters.

    The last two “Transformers” films have been bigger hits in China than in the U.S., with last year’s “Transformers: The Last Knight” earning $229 million in China – $99 million more than in U.S. – and 2014’s “Transformers: The Age of Extinction” grossing $320 million, outpacing its $245 million performance in the US.

    The finished resort will feature a Universal CityWalk entertainment and retail complex and at least two official on-site hotels: the Universal Studios Grand Hotel and the NUO Resort Hotel, set to open in 2021. A new subway station for the park is also currently under construction.

    Disney, which opened its Shanghai Disneyland in 2016, was recently the subject of harsh criticism in a controversial “South Park” episode that took the studio to task for giving in to Chinese censorship demands in exchange for market access.
    THREADS
    Chinese Theme Parks
    Guy uses facial recognition software on his cat (so delighted to find and ttt a facial recognition thread here. I anticipate that it will become quite relevant in future posts. )
    Jack Ma & Alibaba
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    Taytay for Singles' Day

    Taylor Swift to Perform in China at Alibaba's Annual Shopping Gala
    12:09 AM PDT 10/28/2019 by Patrick Brzeski


    Noam Galai/Getty Images
    Taylor Swift

    The e-commerce company's televised Singles' Day shopping extravaganza regularly draws A-list U.S. stars and generates bigger sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined (last year's gala topped $30 billion in sales in 24 hours).
    Taylor Swift is heading to China to perform at Alibaba Group's annual Singles' Day shopping extravaganza next month.

    The pop star will perform at Shanghai's Mercedes-Benz Arena on the evening of Nov. 10, along with a lineup of prominent stars and personalities from China and other parts of Asia. Among the acts slated to shill online shopping for Alibaba are Chinese singer-songwriter and actress G.E.M., local pop star Hua Chenyu, Japanese singer Kana Hanazawa and over a dozen others.

    More than a few U.S. sports and entertainment figures — including Scarlett Johansson, David Beckham, Mariah Carey and Daniel Craig — have flocked to the Alibaba-produced spectacle in years past to build their brands among Chinese consumers. But in recent months, U.S. celebrities' eagerness to please the Chinese government and the country's enormous consumer base have begun to be viewed with more skepticism by the U.S. public.

    After Beijing's recent heavy-handed attempts to squash free speech beyond its borders — such as the NBA's serious travails over a general manager's single tweet of support for Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement, and the erasure of South Park from the Chinese Internet because of a satirical episode — many U.S. politicians have questioned whether the Beijing regime's global political messaging should be so readily accommodated given its various ongoing human rights abuses.

    Singles' Day was invented in the 1990s as an alternate to Valentine's Day, since the date on which it is held, 11/11, appears graphically as the loneliest of calendar numbers. In 2009, Alibaba struck on the ingenious marketing ploy of encouraging Chinese consumers to purchase themselves a treat, or several, on Singles' Day (in that sense, it's arguably the most selfish of holidays, too). Alibaba's first Singles' Day promotion, designed to drum up sales for the company's upstart Tmall service (Amazon with Chinese characteristics), scored $7.7 million in revenue.

    Alibaba's Singles' Day Gala Show, held each year on Nov. 10 and broadcast live across China, has since grown into a hybrid spectacle combining elements of a pop concert with a variety show, the New Year's Eve countdown and the Home Shopping Network. The show features appearances, skits and performances involving local and international celebs — past participants have included Kobe Bryant, Kevin Spacey, Nicole Kidman and others — and builds up to midnight, when Alibaba launches cut-rate sales across its various e-commerce services, encouraging viewers at home to buy, buy, buy.

    In recent years, the shopping extravaganza has generated more revenue than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. Last year's event, resulted in $30 billion in sales over Alibaba's platforms in just 24 hours.
    THREADS:
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  9. #69
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    Pacquiao v Ma?


    Manny Pacquiao posts video of Jack Ma sparring with him, challenges Floyd Mayweather to a fight

    Philippines icon posts a 27-second video with the Alibaba co-founder throwing punches as they mock the unbeaten American
    China’s richest man and the fighting senator shared time together in Hangzhou in their second meeting of the year
    Unus Alladin
    Published: 11:56pm, 27 Oct, 2019


    Manny Pacquiao holds the mitts for Jack Ma during a workout in the video. Photo: Manny Pacquiao/Instagram

    Manny Pacquiao and his new buddy Jack Ma have posted a joint video mocking Floyd Mayweather Jnr, with the Filipino boxing icon saying his friend was the “Real Money Team” while challenging the unbeaten American to another fight.
    Pacquiao posted a 27-second video of him sparring with Ma, the multi-billionaire Chinese co-founder of Alibaba, with Ma throwing punches at the Filipino star, who was holding mitts to the sound of rock music. Segments of the “spar” were sped up to give the video “more punch” and the clip included closed captions.
    “Floyd Mayweather if you want a real fight, fight me, if you want an exhibition, my guy, my friend Jack Ma will take care of you. The Real Money Team,” said Pacquiao in the video, which was posted on Sunday evening and mocked Mayweather’s The Money Team. The post received almost 170,000 views an hour after it was posted.
    Ma, whose Alibaba Group owns the South China Morning Post, said in the video: “Yeah, I’m ready, anytime, any place, Manny’s team is ready.”
    “Yes, that’s right,” replies Manny. In Pacquiao’s latest Instagram post, he simply writes “Message to Mayweather!” as the Filipino up the ante to get the American to return to the ring again and fight him a second time.


    Who’s da man? Manny Pacquiao points to Jack Ma who strikes a boxing pose. Photo: Instagram

    Pacquiao has been trying to coax the 50-0 American legend out of retirement after their 2015 clash in Las Vegas ended with “Money” winning by unanimous decision.
    The eight-times division world champion, who outclassed Adrien Broner in January before winning a split-decision victory against Keith “One Time” Thurman in July, is riding high on confidence and wants another money-spinning fight against Mayweather, who has not fought since beating Japanese kick-boxer Tenshin Nasukawa in a farcical exhibition bout last New Year’s Eve near Tokyo.


    Manny Pacquiao and Jack Ma gives the thumbs up in Hangzhou. Photo: Instagram

    The Philippines fighting senator met Ma for the second time this year in Hangzhou, where they shared a meal together over the weekend. Ma, who is China’s wealthiest man and is ranked 21st on the world’s rich list by Forbes with a net worth of over US$38 billion, presented the 40-year-old Filipino with golden microphones in the Chinese city, where they sparred and created a video – specially created for the 42-year-old Mayweather.
    During their recent dinner, Ma rang up martial arts superstar Jet Li Lianjie and the three of them did some FaceTime together. Ma and Jet Li worked together in the 20-minute kung fu movie Gong Shou Dao in 2017. Pacquiao and Ma first met in Hong Kong in January, sharing a glass of wine in a harbourview hotel and their friendship has blossomed ever since.
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  10. #70
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    Mahjong in Teslas from Alibaba?

    DECEMBER 20, 2019 / 12:41 AM / 7 DAYS AGO
    Mahjong, cartoons coming to Tesla car screens in China next year
    2 MIN READ


    FILE PHOTO: The company logo is pictured on a Tesla Model X electric car in Berlin, Germany, November 13, 2019. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

    BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) said on Friday it will offer its Chinese customers more video and gaming content next year, marking the first time the automaker will offer internet-connected games in its vehicles.

    Two video-streaming channels from cartoon-focused Bilibili (BILI.O) and Alibaba-backed (BABA.N) Youku will be added for a total of four. Owners will also be able to entertain themselves with three online games - mahjong and two versions of poker from Chinese tech-giant Tencent (0700.HK).

    The games and videos will only start after the cars are properly parked, Tesla said, adding that new offerings will come sometime in first quarter. Owners often use the entertainment offerings while re-charging their cars or indulge after arriving back home from work.

    The Silicon Valley automaker, widely seen as a leader in in-car infotainment, offers a range of games in its vehicles for the U.S. market but they are not internet-connected.

    Keeping Chinese customers happy is a priority for Tesla which has built a $2 billion factory in the world’s biggest auto market and set itself a target of building 1,000 cars a week by the end of 2019.

    Unlike the United States, it has also held racing events and showroom parties in China.

    Tesla has started transporting China-built cars out of its Shanghai factory, according to its Weibo posts. It sold around 38,700 vehicles in China in the year to end-November, according to consultancy LMC Automotive.

    Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Edwina Gibbs
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  11. #71
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    India investigates

    Is India investigating any US tech giants too? Just curious.

    Jul 27, 2020 12:11am PT
    India Court Probes Alibaba Over Censorship, Fake News

    By Patrick Frater


    Courtesy of alibaba group

    An Indian court has asked Chinese tech giant Alibaba, and its co-founder Jack Ma, to present evidence about the operation of its news operations. The request stems from a personnel case in which a former employee claims he was unfairly dismissed for refusing to censor content carried by Alibaba apps.

    The case, reported first by the Reuters news agency, is brought by Pushpandra Singh Parmar and is being heard by Judge Sonia Sheokand at a District Court in Gurugram, near Delhi. Although not directly connected to recent government actions, the case may shed light on the activity of Chinese tech firms in India.

    Last month, the Indian government banned 58 Chinese-owned apps, including the highly popular TikTok in response to a deadly border clash between the two neighbors. Indian authorities said there were “credible inputs” suggesting that the apps undermined national security.

    Alibaba and Ma have been given 30 days to respond, either in person or through their lawyers. Ma is no longer a front-line executive at Alibaba, having retired as executive chairman in 2018. However, he remains a company director, is one of 36 members of the company’s controlling partnership structure, and is one of its largest single shareholders.

    Through its Alibaba Pictures unit, Alibaba operates UC Web, a browser specially designed for use on mobile devices, and UC News, which serves news to those mobile users. The UC browser has been downloaded more than 689 million times in India, according to analytics firm Sensor Tower, quoted by Reuters, and UC News upwards of 79 million times.

    The Alibaba-owned South China Morning Post cites a different analysis firm StatCounter. It says UC Browser has more than 430 million active users globally, of which 130 million are in India. It says that makes it the second most used mobile browser in India with a 10% market share, after Google Chrome.

    In some 200 pages of documents, submitted as evidence Parmar says UC news both censored news that could be detrimental to China and also created fake news.

    “In order to control any news related content to be published against China was automatically/manually rejected by an audit system evolved for this purpose,” his filing said. It used key word search such as “Sino-India war” and “China-India border” as a away of removing inconvenient stories.

    According to Parmar, fake Hindi-language news stories included one in 2017 about the banning of 2,000-rupee banknotes, and another in 2018 about the outbreak of war between India and Pakistan.

    “UC has been unwavering in its commitment to the India market and the welfare of its local employees, and its policies are in compliance with local laws. We are unable to comment on ongoing litigation,” a UC India spokesman told Variety in an emailed statement.
    Gene Ching
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  12. #72
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    $35 b

    If only he could've funded Kung Fu Tai Chi...

    Oct 20, 2020,07:31am EDT
    Jack Ma’s Ant Group Wins Approval For Dual Listing That May Raise $35 Billion

    Ralph Jennings
    Contributor
    Asia

    Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group, speaks during 2020 China Green Companies Summit on September 29, ... [+] LIU YANG/VCG VIA GETTY IMAGES
    Ant Group has received approval from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for its IPO, according to media reports, clearing the way for what is expected to be the world’s largest public listing.

    The Hangzhou-based fintech giant had formally applied in August to sell its shares simultaneously in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Ant, which is controlled by billionaire Jack Ma, still needs to complete its registration with China’s securities regulator before it can list on Shanghai’s Star Market. The company is said to be aiming to raise $35 billion with the two offerings.

    “At the moment there is no bigger financial technology company in the world,” says Alex Sirakov, senior associate with the research and advisory firm Kapronasia in Shanghai. “Overall, it really sends the message that this is the business model of the future, so there is quite a lot of hype around it.”

    Ant is an affiliate of Alibaba Group, an $826 billion Chinese firm cofounded by Ma. Its payment platform Alipay has more than a billion users and 80 million merchants.

    The Hangzhou-based firm was believed in 2018 to have finalized agreements with several international investors to raise as much as $10 billion at a valuation of $150 billion, Forbes reported at the time. Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC and global private equity investors such as Carlyle and Sequoia Capital China took part in the funding round, the state-affiliated China Securities Journal reported at the time.

    The 2018 funding round was widely seen as a precursor to an IPO. The offering will be China’s largest if not the largest worldwide, Sirakov says.

    Ant Group will probably leverage its IPO and eventual stock sales to increase transparency, he says. The Hong Kong exchange is considered more internationalized than bourses in mainland China.

    “Now it’s time for this company to validate its strength,” Sirakov says. “Arguably every large financial institution in China uses some kind of (Ant) service. This comes with a lot of responsibility.”


    Motorists drive past an Alipay logo next to the Shanghai office building of Ant Group in Shanghai, ... [+] HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP


    Ralph Jennings

    As a news reporter I have covered some of everything since 1988, from my alma mater U.C. Berkeley to the Great Hall of the People in Beijing where I followed Communist officials for the Japanese news agency Kyodo. Stationed in Taipei since 2006, I track Taiwanese companies and local economic trends that resonate offshore. At Reuters through 2010, I looked intensely at the island’s awkward relations with China. More recently, I’ve studied high-tech trends in greater China and expanded my overall news coverage to surrounding Asia
    Gene Ching
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  13. #73
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    Let's talk about China's economy and Covid...

    Singles Day: Alibaba sales blitz rakes in $75 billion as Chinese shake off Covid-19
    2020 Updated
    By Sherisse Pham, CNN Business

    Updated 9:31 PM ET, Wed November 11, 2020
    Chinese government halts Ant Group's giant IPO

    Chinese government halts Ant Group's giant IPO 02:35
    Hong Kong (CNN Business)China's annual Singles Day online shopping bonanza regularly hauls in tens of billions of dollars for Alibaba and other e-commerce and retail companies in China. This year, it's taking on new meaning as a showcase for the country's success in battling the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Alibaba (BABA) said on Thursday that the annual sales frenzy broke records again, raking in 498.2 billion yuan (roughly $75 billion). The total includes an earlier three-day period that was added to boost post-pandemic sales.
    Compared to the same timeframe as last year, this year's haul represents an increase of 26%, the company said.
    "China's economy has seen a strong recovery and Chinese consumers' purchase behaviors have already returned to pre-pandemic levels, if not higher," according to Xiaofeng Wang, analyst with market research firm Forrester..
    China reported positive economic growth for the second quarter in a row last month, underlining how quickly the world's second-largest economy has recovered from the pandemic.
    For brands and retailers scrambling to recover from months of shuttered shops and consumers hunkered down indoors, the lucrative Chinese shopper is a much-needed bright spot. Many companies "are doubling down" on their Singles Day sales events, according to Wang.
    A survey from market research firm Oliver Wyman found that 86% of Chinese consumers are willing to spend the same as or more than what they did during last year's Singles Day.
    Chinese shoppers "continue to spend like crazy," said Oliver Wyman partner Jacques Penhirin, who led the survey.
    The remaining 14% of survey respondents said they will spend less on Singles Day, because the pandemic had brought too much uncertainty for them.
    Penhirin predicted the event would be massive for participating brands and retailers, because shoppers are using it as an opportunity to treat themselves.
    It's been a strange year for Chinese consumers. They saved money during an unpredecented lockdown earlier this year, but they aren't traveling, said Penhirin.
    So shoppers are approaching Singles Day with an indulgent mindset. For example, a shopper who usually buys Maybelline makeup, he said, might instead spend a bit more to buy stuff from Yves Saint Laurent on sale.
    "Now it's time to be indulgent," Penhirin said.

    Glitzy stars and blockbuster growth
    Singles Day regularly racks up bigger sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
    The event — also known as Double 11 — is pegged to China's informal, anti-Valentine's Day holiday that celebrates people who aren't in relationships. It takes place on November 11, a date that was chosen because it is written as four ones, or singles.
    Alibaba started offering Singles Day discounts in 2009 and has since turned the event into a bonanza of online shopping.
    Other Chinese e-commerce platforms like JD.com (JD), Pinduoduo (PDD) and Red, as well as regular brick-and-mortar stores also take part. Rival JD.com's event lasts almost two weeks — longer than Alibaba's. JD said on Thursday that it also set a new sales record of 271.5 billion yuan ($41 billion) during the event, growing 33% compared to last year.
    The event has also gained traction outside China: Alibaba's Southeast Asia subsidiary Lazada offers Double 11 discounts in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

    In China, Alibaba once again held a glitzy live concert counting down the hours until the main sales day starts. Celebrities often make appearances at the so-called 11.11 Gala, usually to hawk their own brands and products.
    Last year's headline performer was singer Taylor Swift. This year, it's Katy Perry, who was virtually piped into a Shanghai arena late Tuesday evening.
    This year, the company added an extra three days of sales — which took place from November 1 through 3 — because of the pandemic, according to Alicia Yap, managing director at Citigroup Global Markets Asia.
    A few more days of huge discounts help "brands or merchants recoup lost sales during the lockdown and [helps] global brands gain access to the stronger demand from Chinese consumers," Yap wrote in a note last week.

    Trends for this unprecedented year
    Livestreaming is expected to be a "key growth driver," for this year's Double 11, said Wang, of Forrester.
    Livestreaming had been around in China for years, but really took off during lockdown.
    It's like the Shopping Channel or QVC on steroids: Shoppers tune in to watch influencers peddling everything from cars to mangoes, and can score big discounts during the live streams.
    Wang also expects luxury goods will sell really well, because Chinese usually buy them while traveling overseas.
    "When pandemic makes international travel impossible, consumers will pivot these purchases domestically and particularly online," she said. "That's also why it's the first year that luxury brands are heavily involved in Singles Day."
    Oliver Wyman found that while foreign brands continue to dominate popular Singles Day categories such as cosmetics and infant formula, a growing number of Chinese shoppers will buy local brands of products like electronics and smartphones this year.
    "It's not patriotism ... it's just the technology, design and quality are better, therefore there is just more confidence" in Chinese brands, Penhirin said.
    Another reason Chinese are buying local is because some remain cost conscious post-pandemic, according to analysts at consultancy Bain & Company.
    Shoppers, for example, may view Apple's (AAPL) iPhone as too expensive, and instead buy slightly cheaper devices from Huawei or Xiaomi that they believe are comparable in design and technology.

    Alibaba's Jack Ma out of favor with Beijing
    There was an added shadow over the event for Alibaba and its billionaire founder Jack Ma. Last week, Chinese regulators slammed the brakes on the highly anticipated IPO of Ant Group, Alibaba's financial affiliate, at the eleventh hour. Regulators cited "major issues" that might cause Ant "not to meet the listing conditions or disclosure requirements."
    Ma publicly criticized Chinese regulators for stifling innovation, which industry watchers noted may have also played a role in the IPO getting pulled.
    Even though many other online platforms and stores take part in Singles Day, it is still closely tied to Alibaba. And recent criticism of the annual event by government groups and state media could signal that Ma is still out of favor with Beijing.
    The Chinese government has said it is eager to stimulate domestic consumption to spur the country's economic growth. And yet the China Consumers Association, a state-backed national consumer rights group, urged for "rational consumption" during the upcoming Double 11 shopping season, according to statements it issued last week.
    State-run news network CCTV called for "fewer tricks" by shopping platforms during the Singles Day shopping season, saying they should not cheat consumers.
    But a spat between a tech billionaire and Beijing regulators likely won't affect how Chinese consumers shop, according to Penhirin of Oliver Wyman.
    "Consumers don't care, honestly," he said, adding that while financial markets might be paying attention to the drama, consumers will think that "as long as I get a good deal, it's none of my business."

    -- Laura He contributed to this report.
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