On Nov. 26 E-commerce giant Alibaba Group announced the upgrading of its cloud computing unit and the restructuring of Tmall, Alibaba’s online retail platform, in an internal letter. The remodeling displays the combined importance of the two units in the company’s strategic layout.
Alibaba’s restructuring will focus on two main blocks – new retail and cloud. The company is seeking to build a complete ecosystem that allows clients to do business more efficiently by digitizing the process. The restructuring is also paving the way for company CEO Daniel Zhang’s succession to the Alibaba throne following Jack Ma’s exit next year.
“We must be continuously upgrading the design and capability of our organization to build a strong foundation and strong bench of leadership for the next five to ten years.” Zhang said in the letter.
The new Alibaba Cloud Intelligence business group is one of the strategy elements that aims to merge smart technology infrastructure with business scenarios in this era of digital economy. The strategy aims to secure Alibaba’s future amid the increasingly heated competition in the technology sector.
The newly-established business group will be overseen by Alibaba Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Zhang Jianfeng, who will be replacing Hu Xiaoming as the president of the unit. Zhang thanked Hu for his contribution to the cloud-computing unit, saying Hu will be serving the organization in a different capacity.
Fan Luyuan, the current CEO of Alibaba Pictures, will replace Yang Weidong as the president of Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment business group, according to the company’s statement. In addition, Alibaba will form a new retail technology business group to consolidate the technology of Taobao and Tmall in order to effectively support the demands of new retail. Wu Zeming will serve as president and report to Daniel Zhang.
Also part of the reorganization is that the online retail site Tmall will from now on be referred to as “Greater Tmall” and will include three major divisions: Tmall business group, focusing on brand innovation, Tmall Supermarket business group that integrates physical stores and online orders, and Tmall Import-Export business unit, which works towards fulfilling the company’s pledge to help import $200 billion worth of goods over the next five years.
At present, Alibaba Cloud is the largest provider of cloud computing services in China as well as the world’s third largest cloud computing services provider for infrastructure as a service (IaaS), only beaten by Amazon and Microsoft. Data collected from the company’s e-commerce platforms has helped the company to provide cloud-based industry solutions. The cloud infrastructure also serves as the backbone of new retail and the merging of technology and commerce will stimulate company growth.
“We have to be relentless in our forward thinking in order to realize our mission of ‘facilitating business in the digital era’ and empowering merchants through our Alibaba operating system.” Zhang said.
Featured photo credit to 东方IC