Reporting from China investor events

Colin Dishington reports back from the investor events for internet giant Alibaba and financial technology firm Ant Financial.

11 October 2019

This is Hangzhou’s iconic West lake, a UNESCO World Heritage site and also 2019's host to Alibaba's annual investor event.

The first day of the event was focused predominantly on retail. And with over 670 million annual active users on their market place platforms, Alibaba believe they can continue to increase this number and indeed the number of transactions taking place on that platform. In order to do this, they want to make services available to both merchants and the end consumer. He talked for example, about their mapping software Amap. Very similar in looks to the likes of Google Maps,it not only provides directions to local businesses, but additional services on top of that as well.

Let's say for example, you're feeling ill, and you need to collect some medicine from the pharmacy. Not only will Amaps provide you with directions to your local pharmacy, but it will instantly offer you the option of delivery of that medicine to your door. Not only does this provide more custom for the merchant or the pharmacy in this case, it also provides additional volumes for Alibaba's own delivery network and much more added convenience for the end consumer.

This week in China, I've been attending the investor events for both internet giant Alibaba and financial technology firm Ant Financial.

And the consistent theme across both events is that these companies have ambitions beyond just the domestic market and more into the global sphere. And these ambitions are taking on many different guises for example, Alibaba is already the number one Cloud Player across the Asia Pacific region, and their media business has already co-produced Oscar winning picture Green Book.

Ant Financial meanwhile, has already exported it's payment technology by working with partners in the likes of India and SE Asia.

What's clear from all of these developments is that these companies have huge growth opportunities for many years to come.

I'm in China, attending the Alibaba investor day. And one of the most repeated words throughout all the presentations have been the word Digitalise because Alibaba want to Digitalise just about everything. Whether it be offline retail premises, whether it be parcel delivery networks. They even talked about digitalizing Hangzhou's Westlake.

How can they do that? Well, by providing real time information as to the availability of spaces in car parks to ensure that consumers are directed to the correct places to park. Not only does this show that Alibaba are a domestic pioneer, but they're also a global technology leader


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