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Speed Strategy of Alibaba: ‘New Retail’ Revolution in China

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“Speed is the essence of war. Take advantage of the enemy’s unpreparedness, travel by unexpected routes and strike him where he has no precautions.” (Sun & Griffith,1964) In a war, speed is the key that leads us toward victory. Alibaba group effectively apply the speed strategy to their daily business operations.

Alibaba invests in AI (artificial intelligence) technologies since few years ago to speed up some trivial process for example quality and quantity control, classification of goods and so on. Based on South China Morning Post, there is one case that happened in China which Alibaba uses AI to speed up detection of pregnant pigs which helps boosting efficiency of china’s hog farms. By using facial-recognition cameras and AI, it takes only three days to complete the detection for over 700 million pigs in China. (Meng , 2018) In conclusion, the applied of AI tools in managing goods did help in boosting work efficiency, therefore more time are saved to do essential work rather than the insignificant work.

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Since Alibaba is the giant of e-commerce, hence effective logistic management is quite important to Alibaba. Cainiao, a smart logistics company under Alibaba group which is also the largest unicorn companies in China broke its own daily delivery records in 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, which it has delivered first 100 million packages within 5 hours. (adam najberg, 2018) One of the reasons why Cainiao can provide such a high-speed delivery service is because Cainiao used smart robots with in-build navigation system in the smart warehouse. The smart robot can move packages with maximum weight of 500 kilograms at the maximum speed of 9.3 miles per hour for 24 hours non-stop to maximize the work efficiency. Moreover, the warehouse used Internet of Things applications (IOT), big data, edge computing and artificial intelligence to optimize the traffic of smart robots and analyze the storage capacity in order to boost up logistics process. Cainiao also has its long-term vision which it spends billions to build a future smart warehouse system known as “Cainiao Future Park” which will be the world largest smart logistics hub. This future warehouse system is built to fulfill the ultimate goal of Caniao in the future which is to offer 24-hour delivery inside China and 72-hours delivery to and from the rest of the world. (Natalie Walters, 2017) In conclusion, the high-speed delivery system built by Cainiao has become one of the essential tools that makes Alibaba to become the largest e-commerce company in the world.

In addition, Alibaba is conducting a ‘new retail’ revolution in China which Alibaba. “New retail” is the phrase invented by the co-founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma. He explains that in the future the boundary between offline and online commerce will disappear in order to fulfill the personalized needs of the customer. (jon bird, 2018) Alibaba is rapidly expanding its new “Hema” smart retail store, Alibaba’s new kind of superstore. According to CNBC, last year 65 superstores were opened in China. (uptin saiidi,2018) The superstores are driven by artificial intelligence tools, facial recognition, geo-locations technology. The customers get information such as price, expiry date and other details via “Hema” mobile app. Other than that, payment can be made by scanning customer’s face. Alibaba is also opening robot-using restaurants in the superstore where the food was ordered via the mobile app and delivered by smart-robots. In conclusion, the superstore introduced by Alibaba not only can speed up the retailing process but also able to provide a better customer experience to the customer of its superstore.

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Speed Strategy of Alibaba: ‘New Retail’ Revolution in China. (2022, August 12). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 2, 2023, from
“Speed Strategy of Alibaba: ‘New Retail’ Revolution in China.” Edubirdie, 12 Aug. 2022,
Speed Strategy of Alibaba: ‘New Retail’ Revolution in China. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 2 Dec. 2023].
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