Alibaba founder Jack Ma walks the talk

By Edward Lim

It’s hard to let go when you’re one of the richest man in the world and leading one, if not the biggest, e-commerce company in the world. But, Jack Ma is a man of his word. A man who knows his time and a man who has shown what resilience is all about.

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100m smart speakers by end of 2018

The Amazon Echo Dot and its siblings account for more than half of installed smart speakers.
The Amazon Echo Dot and its siblings account for more than half of installed smart speakers.

Smart speakers are picking up steam with the installed base expected to hit 100 million by the end of this year, according to Canalys. That’s 2.5 times the size of end 2017.

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Alibaba leverages AI for copywriting

Text generated by The AI Copywriter.
Text generated by The AI Copywriter.

Copywriters, beware! A new tool dubbed “The AI copywriter” by Alimama can generate an astounding 20,000 lines of copy in a second. Alimama is the digital marketing arm of China e-commerce giant Alibaba.

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Smart speaker adoption to rise in 2018

Google Home Mini is competing against Amazon Echo Dot.
Google Home Mini is competing against Amazon Echo Dot.

Amazon and Google went head to head in the smart speaker market last year and the battle is expected to be more intense in the coming days with more players joining the fray.

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GTC draws the big guns!

As a sign of its coming of age, the GPU Technology Conference (GTC) held annually in San Jose, California since 2009, is no longer a niche event but one that is drawing the who’s who of the technology industry.

NVIDIA’s shift of focus from being a visual computing company to an AI company has certainly played a big part in the expansion of the conference. It has attracted around 50 sponsors and 150 exhibitors on top of more than 7,000 participants.

However, it’s not the number of sponsors and exhibitors but rather the quality that is worthy of attention. The line-up of technology firms includes luminaries such as Adobe, Alibaba, Amazon, Autodesk, Cisco, Cray, Dell EMC, DreamWorks Animation, IBM Watson, Lenovo, Microsoft, Samsung Electronics, Verizon Labs, VMware, and Yahoo Research.

With AI being such a prime mover of autonomous vehicles, it is also not surprising that leading names in the automotive industry were also present — BMW Group, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Honda Research Institute, and Mercedes-Benz R&D North America.

Amid the various booths showcasing VR technologies was one by NASA Ames Research Center, which showed a VR demonstration on Mars.

Alibaba Cloud rises 128% in Q3

Alibaba Cloud has outpaced cloud service provider leaders with growth of 128 percent to reach US$221 million in Q3. However, AWS increased its lead, accounting for 32.2 percent of total spend, followed by Microsoft Azure with 17.3 percent and Google Cloud with 7.6percent, according to Canalys. Both Microsoft (up 115.6 percent) and Google (up 79.6 percent) grew faster than Amazon.

Global cloud infrastructure services expenditure increased 53.1 percent year on year to reach US$10 billion for the first time in Q.

“Alibaba has established itself as the largest e-commerce business in China and is starting to dominate the provision of cloud infrastructure services in the country,” said Daniel Liu, Research Analyst of Canalys.

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Alibaba to take US$1b stake in Lazada

AlibabaLeading e-commerce giant Alibaba has announced that it would pay US$1 billion for a controlling stake in Singapore startup Lazada, which has e-commerce operations across Southeast Asia.

Established by Rocket Internet in 2011, Lazada is a popular e-commerce platform for a wide range of consumer products.

“With the investment in Lazada, Alibaba gains access to a platform with a large and growing consumer base outside China, a proven management team and a solid foundation for future growth in one of the most promising regions for e-commerce globally,” said Michael Evans, President of Alibaba.

Alibaba joins Microsoft and AWS as leaders in China cloud market

ForresterThe public cloud market in China will more than double in the next five years, from US$1.8 billion this year to US$3.8 billion in 2020, according to Forrester.

Two-thirds of Chinese software decision-makers surveyed by Forrester are making increased use of public cloud platforms a top priority over the next 12 months.

Enterprise public cloud platform vendors in China are improving in terms of their service diversity, simple abstraction for operational efficiency, and operational autonomy for on-demand elasticity. Forrester has evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of 11 cloud vendors Alibaba, AWS, ChinaC, DaoCloud, JD.com, Microsoft, MoPaaS, QingCloud, Tencent, UCloud, and UnitedStack.

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Alibaba sets US$8b target for November 11 sales

Alibaba 1111November 11 is Singles’ Day in China and the singular thing retailers are aiming for today is record sales. China e-commerce giant Alibaba has set US$8.18 billion (RMB50 billion) as its 2014 target of single-day transaction value for the November 11 online shopping festival, according to IDC.

The research firm believes Alibaba is very likely to achieve five percent more. “11.11” is not only a festival for Alibaba, online shoppers, and online retailers; it also changes consumers’ buying behaviour and impacts the evolution of the China e-commerce ecosystem.

“11.11” has become a special day for many Chinese consumers ever since Alibaba created this single-day online shopping festival in 2009. The total transaction value during last year’s “11.11” reached US$5.73 billion (RMB35 billion), which shocked Alibaba’s e-commerce competitors all around the world as well as the entire retail industry.

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Alibaba breezes through China Singles’ Day online traffic with ZTE technology

AlibabaAlibaba Group handled a record-breaking surge in online shopping traffic on China Singles’ Day on November 11 , the busiest day of the year for Internet retailers in China.

China’s largest e-commerce company broke its one-day sales record by more than 80 percent. ZTE’s ZXONE 8700 optical transport network system carried 90 percent of Alibaba’s operating data traffic that day, as online shopping orders pushed Alibaba’s peak data traffic to almost 300 Gbits per second, sustained for a period of seven hours.

For the 24-hour duration of China Singles’ Day, ZTE’s OTN systems deployed by Alibaba delivered excellent network performance and fault-free reliability, with no malfunction warning reported.

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