Alibaba Group to host Investor Day on June 8-9, 2017

Hangzhou, China, 2017-Jun-01 — /EPR Retail News/ — Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA) today (May 31, 2017) announced that it will host an Investor Day on June 8-9, 2017 China Time at Alibaba Xixi Headquarters, Hangzhou, China. Speakers will include Jack Ma (Executive Chairman), Joe Tsai (Executive Vice Chairman), Daniel Zhang (CEO), Maggie Wu (CFO) and other members of our senior management team.

Alibaba will provide a live webcast of key executive sessions at or around the following times:

  • Thursday, June 8: 2:15 PM China Time (2:15 AM U.S. Eastern Time)
    Presenters: Daniel Zhang, Chief Executive Officer; Maggie Wu, Chief Financial Officer
  • Friday, June 9: 3:45 PM China Time (3:45 AM U.S. Eastern Time)
    Presenters: Jack Ma, Executive Chairman; Joe Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman

The webcast will be available at http://www.alibabagroup.com/en/ir/home. A replay of the webcast and a summary of the day’s presentations will be available through the same links following the event, as well as at http://www.alizila.com.

About Alibaba Group

Alibaba Group’s mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. The company aims to build the future infrastructure of commerce. It envisions that its customers will meet, work and live at Alibaba, and that it will be a company that lasts at least 102 years.

Investor Relations Contact:
Rob Lin
investor@alibabagroup.com

Media Contact:
Brion Tingler
brion.tingler@alibaba-inc.com

Source:  Alibaba Group

Alibaba, Ant Financial, and TDAP partner to support growth of SMEs in Pakistan through e-commerce

Alibaba, Ant Financial, and TDAP partner to support growth of SMEs in Pakistan through e-commerce

Hangzhou, China, 2017-May-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA), the world’s largest online and mobile commerce company, has announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to the Alibaba Headquarters in Hangzhou, China.

Alibaba Group’s Executive Chairman, Jack Ma and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding. Michael Evans, President of Alibaba Group, and Douglas Feagin, Senior Vice President of Global Business of Ant Financial, signed the Memorandum on behalf of Alibaba and Ant Financial, respectively.

Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said: “I am honored to have had the opportunity to visit the Alibaba Headquarters in Hangzhou, China. Today by entering into this agreement with Alibaba and Ant Financial we further strengthen mutual cooperation and look to bring about a positive change for our small and medium enterprises. With the support of the Alibaba Group and Ant Financial we hope to elevate our local businesses to new heights and bring them into the realm of the e-commerce platform.”

Alibaba Group’s Executive Chairman, Jack Ma said: “With the globalization of e-commerce, developing countries are well-placed to support the growth of their small and medium enterprises and to seize opportunities which can help bolster their economies. E-commerce has been established for developing countries and for SMEs. Pakistan has seen significant progress in recent years and we look forward to working together with TDAP to further enhance the potential of their SMEs through the signing of this MoU.”

Under the terms of the MoU, Alibaba, Ant Financial, and TDAP agree to foster growth of worldwide exports of products by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Pakistan through e-commerce. Online and offline training programs for the SMEs will also be conducted by Alibaba in a bid to assist SMEs with on-boarding on to Alibaba’s platforms and optimizing exports through e-commerce.

TDAP will help identify suitable SMEs to participate in the training programs while Alibaba will be responsible for providing industry analysis to TDAP to assist them in their selection process.

In addition, Alibaba, Ant Financial and TDAP have agreed to promote the growth of financial services in Pakistan in areas such as mobile and online payment services. The parties have also agreed to adopt cloud computing services to support the online and mobile e-commerce businesses of SMEs in Pakistan.

About Alibaba Group

Alibaba Group’s mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. The company aims to build the future infrastructure of commerce. It envisions that its customers will meet, work and live at Alibaba, and that it will be a company that lasts at least 102 years.

SOURCE: Alibaba Group

Media Contacts

Rico Ngai
Alibaba Group
+852 9725 9600
rico.ngai@alibaba-inc.com

Sophie Yu
Alibaba Group
+86 13501221600
sophie.yxf@alibaba-inc.com

Alibaba Group and Bailian Group announce partnership to explore retail opportunities across each other’s ecosystems

Jointly explore development opportunities across each other’s ecosystem

Shanghai, 2017-Feb-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA) and China’s leading retailer Bailian Group announced today (February 20, 2017) the formation of a strategic partnership to explore new forms of retail opportunities across each other’s ecosystems. The companies will leverage the power of big data to achieve integration between offline stores, merchandise, logistics and payment tools with the ultimate aim of elevating efficiency and overall consumer experience.

The signing of the strategic cooperation agreement between Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang and Bailian Chairman & President Ye Yongming took place in Shanghai. Zhou Bo, Executive Vice Mayor of Shanghai Municipal Government and Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma witnessed the signing.

Headquartered in Shanghai, Bailian is one of China’s largest and most established retail conglomerates with more than 4,700 outlets across 25 provinces, 200 cities and autonomous regions in China.

Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group said, “New retail reimagines the relationship between consumers, merchandise and retail space by leveraging mobile Internet and big data. It will upend the traditional manufacturing and supply chain, the connection between merchant and consumer, as well as the overall consumer experience. Businesses will increasingly embrace big data and new innovations to better identify, reach, analyze and serve their customers, and their digital transformation will be empowered by Alibaba’s ecosystem. Our partnership with Bailian is an important milestone in the evolution of Chinese retail, where the distinction between physical and virtual commerce is becoming obsolete.”

Ye Yongming, Chairman of Bailian Group said, “A new consumer era calls for a new retail approach. Traditional commerce needs to embrace innovation and change to thrive if they are to ride atop this new consumption trend. New retail is not just the convergence of online and offline worlds. It also means we need to be able to leverage technologies such as the Internet of Things, AI and big data to provide consumers with new and immersive shopping experiences across channels and product categories anytime and anywhere. It is with this shared vision that our companies have joined forces in this strategic partnership to redefine commerce and reshape the retail industry.”

Under the agreement, the cooperation will include:

  • New retail outlet design: jointly design cross channel store operation and ordering systems to enable real time service solutions for customers at physical stores;
  • New retail technology R&D: joint R&D in new retail technology in areas such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, and big data;
  • Customer Relationship Management: integrate both companies’ membership base to enhance customer service capability through technologies such as geolocation, facial recognition and big-data driven sales and customer management systems;
  • Supply chain management: the companies will combine resources in customer insight and supplier channels to help improve merchandise selection and reduce cost;
  • Payment: Alipay will be made available at all Bailian stores, while Bailian’s payment tools Safepass and Bailian OK Card will be integrated with Alipay to provide a unified third-party payment solution for consumers;
  • Logistics: Bailian Logistics to work with Alibaba on Cainiao’s logistics platform and co-develop logistics rules to enhance services for both consumers and merchants

The partnership with Bailian is the latest milestone in the development of new retail. Alibaba has coined the term “New Retail” to describe a world where the distinction between online and offline commerce becomes obsolete, as Internet users continue to migrate to mobile devices from desktop computers. Under the new retail model, traditional brick and mortar retailers will be offered the tools to transform their way of connecting with consumers, and improve efficiencies in their inventory and distribution network, as well as payment and logistics systems to provide seamless consumer experience both online and offline consumers.

Consumers in China engage in commerce activities from anywhere at any time with the help of mobile phones. With its big data capability and a mobile monthly active user base of close to 500 million, Alibaba is well placed to enable traditional retailers to upgrade to the new retail model.

About Alibaba Group

Alibaba Group’s mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. The company aims to build the future infrastructure of commerce. It envisions that its customers will meet, work and live at Alibaba, and that it will be a company that lasts at least 102 years.

About Bailian Group

Bailian Group is a leading state-owned enterprise in Shanghai, and one of China’s largest retail conglomerates. It has operations in more than 200 Chinese cities with 4,700 outlets and 68,000 employees. Launched in 2016, Bailian’s Omni-Channel Platform “bl.com” & “iBailian App” has grown quickly leveraging Bailian’s membership base of 21 million to provide seamless and round-the-clock service to consumers online and offline.

Media Contacts:
Eric Zhao
Board Secretary
Bailian Group
+86-21-63321200
Eric.zhao@bl.com

Cecilia Kwok
Alibaba Group
+852 9132 7709
ceciliakwok@alibaba-inc.com

Source: Alibaba Group

Alibaba becomes the official “Cloud Services” and “E-Commerce Platform Services” Partner of the Olympic Channel

Breakthrough partnership will support the IOC and the Olympic Movement achieve Olympic Agenda 2020 vision in a new digital era

Davos, Switzerland, 2017-Jan-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA) today (19 January 2017 ) jointly announced a long-term partnership through 2028. Joining The Olympic Partner (TOP) worldwide sponsorship programme, Alibaba will become the official “Cloud Services” and “E-Commerce Platform Services” Partner, as well as a Founding Partner of the Olympic Channel.

The partnership was announced today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, with IOC President Thomas Bach, Alibaba Group Founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma and Alibaba Group Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang.

Thomas Bach, President of the IOC, said: “In this new digital world, Alibaba is uniquely positioned to help the IOC achieve a variety of key objectives outlined in Olympic Agenda 2020, while positively shaping the future of the Olympic Movement. This is a ground-breaking, innovative alliance, and will help drive efficiencies in the organisation of the Olympic Games through 2028, whilst also supporting the global development of digital opportunities including the Olympic Channel.”

“Alibaba’s partnership with the IOC is built on a foundation of shared values and a common vision for connecting the world and enriching people’s lives,” said Jack Ma, Founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group. “We are proud to support Olympic Agenda 2020, using our innovations and technologies to help evolve the Olympic Games for the digital era.”

Through this partnership, Alibaba’s contributions to the Olympic Movement will include:

  • best-in-class cloud computing infrastructure and cloud services to help the Olympic Games operate more efficiently, effectively and securely, including supporting big data analytics requirements;
  • the creation of a global e-commerce platform for Olympic stakeholders to engage and connect with fans seeking official Olympic licensed products manufactured by the Olympic parties’ official licensees, and selected sports products, on a worldwide basis; and
  • leveraging Alibaba’s leading digital media technologies and know-how to develop and customise the Olympic Channel for a Chinese audience.

“Alibaba is proud to empower the International Olympic Committee in a game-changing digital transformation, while moving another step closer toward our goal to serve 2 billion consumers,” said Daniel Zhang, Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group. “We will leverage our experience in serving a young user base to help connect more young people to the Olympic Movement, helping to strengthen our brand through this historic partnership.”

Tsunekazu Takeda, the IOC’s Marketing Commission Chair, said: “We are delighted to be working in the long term with Alibaba for the benefit of the Olympic Movement. This strategic partnership underlines the global appeal of the Olympic values and opens an exciting new chapter in this digital age.”

Alibaba is the first company to make a long-term commitment to the IOC through 2028 and the first Chinese company to commit to the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.

Alibaba will support the organisers of each edition of the Olympic Games, and the Olympic Movement around the world. These rights will include advertising and promotional use of Olympic marks and imagery from the Olympic Games as well as marks from the National Olympic Committees.

Alibaba’s global activation rights will include the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 and the Olympic and Olympic Winter Games in 2024, 2026 and 2028 in cities yet to be selected by the IOC.

Conference Call Details:

Alibaba Group and the IOC will host a conference call to discuss this new global partnership at 3 p.m. CET / 9 a.m. EST on 19 January 2017.

Dial & Conference ID:

  • International: +65 6713 5330
  • US: +1 844 760 0770
  • UK: +44 203 713 5084
  • Hong Kong: +852 3018 8307
  • Conference ID: 56463850

A digital recording of the conference call will be available for replay two hours after completion through 22 January. To access:

Webcast of Press Conference

The press conference will be webcast live and archived by the World Economic Forum at the following link:
https://www.weforum.org/events/world-economic-forum-annual-meeting-2017/player?p=1&pi=1&id=87396

About the IOC
The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit independent international organisation made up of volunteers, which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of USD 3.25 million goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.

About Alibaba Group
Alibaba Group’s mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. The company aims to build the future infrastructure of commerce. It envisions that its customers will meet, work and live at Alibaba, and that it will be a company that lasts at least 102 years.

For more information and corporate b-roll visit Alibaba’s new corporate site Alizila.com

IOC Media Relations Team:

Tel: +41 21 621 6000
Email: pressoffice@olympic.org
Or visit our website at www.olympic.org

Videos: YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/iocmedia

Broadcast quality footage: IOC Newsroom: http://iocnewsroom.com/

Photos: For an extensive selection of photos available shortly after each event, follow IOC on Flickr. To request archive photos and footage, please contact: images@olympic.org

Source: Alibaba Group

ALIBABA’S JACK MA NAMED UNCTAD SPECIAL ADVISOR ON TRADE

New York, 2016-Sep-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Jack Ma, one of the world’s leading entrepreneurs and founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, has been named Special Adviser to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) for Youth Entrepreneurship and Small Business.

In his new role as UNCTAD Special Adviser, Mr. Ma will champion
initiatives to make it easier for young entrepreneurs and small businesses, particularly in developing countries, to participate in global trade, as well as raise awareness about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“Mr. Ma is an influential and respected pioneer of the internet era, innovator, entrepreneur, and philanthropist,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said. “He brings a visionary approach to entrepreneurship, a thirst for learning, and a belief in a better world that make him a perfect match for UNCTAD. Together we will be able to reach out to communities that feel left behind in today’s global landscape with a message of hope and self-empowerment.”

Ma brings expertise, results and vision to the role. He created Alibaba in
1999, recognizing the power of the internet to level the playing field for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Today there are more than 10 million small businesses in China operating on Alibaba’s marketplaces. His proposed concept of the “eWTP” (Electronic World Trade Platform), a way to bring small and medium-sized enterprises more fully into the global economy, was included in the official communiqué of the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China, in September 2016.

“It is an honour to serve as UNCTAD’s Special Advisor on Youth Entrepreneurship and Small Business,” said Mr. Ma. “I have devoted my career to helping entrepreneurs and have seen the social and economic
transformation that occurs when people are given the opportunity to
participate in the global economy.”

UNCTAD assists governments in developing countries to promote enterprises, especially small and medium-sized enterprises and young entrepreneurs, so that they are able to compete in the global economy.

Jack Ma, who is also a United Nations Advocate for the Sustainable
Development Goals, is a Chinese entrepreneur, leading philanthropist, and
teacher. Mr. Ma is the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group,
the largest online and mobile commerce company in the world whose mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. He currently serves on the board of SoftBank Corp., one of Alibaba’s major shareholders and a Japanese corporation listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

He is also an active advisor to multiple governments and business institutions globally, including to former Prime Minister Karim Massimov of Kazakhstan, and member of the International Advisory Council to the Singapore Economic Development Board. In 2014, Mr. Ma was elected to the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum. Mr. Ma graduated from Hangzhou Teacher’s Institute with a major in English language education.

Contacts:
UNCTAD Communications and Information Unit
+41 22 917 58 28
+41 79 502 43 11

(mailto:unctadpress@unctad.org) ,
http://unctad.org/press

Source: UNCTAD

Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma’s work as promoter of easier access to world markets for SMEs recognized at the G20 summit

Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma's work as promoter of easier access to world markets for SMEs recognized at the G20 summit
Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma’s work as promoter of easier access to world markets for SMEs recognized at the G20 summit

 

Hangzhou, China, 2016-Sep-08 — /EPR Retail News/ — Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma’s work as a promoter of easier access to world markets for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) was recognized at the G20 summit. The G20 Leaders Communique released on Monday welcomed the recommendation of business leaders under Business 20 (B20) to strengthen digital trade and took note of its initiative on an Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP), a concept for a more inclusive way for nations to implement free and fair trade for their SME constituents.

Mr. Ma was the chairman of the B20 SME Development Taskforce. The SME Development Taskforce, which had 107 members from international business, issued recommendations for SME development to the G20, including support for eWTP.

On the heels of the closing of the G20 Summit, World Trade Organization Director General Roberto Azevêdo met with Mr. Ma at Alibaba’s headquarters. Mr. Azevêdo and Mr. Ma discussed Mr. Azevêdo’s vision for a more inclusive WTO and how they can work together to deliver it.

The enablement of global trade is the common objective of both the WTO and eWTP. With a focus on SMEs, eWTP speaks to a shared vision of a future WTO that enables more inclusive trade and ensures small businesses can participate in the digital era. By promoting public-private dialogue to incubate e-trade rules and foster a more effective and efficient policy and business environment, SMEs can further expand their capabilities and reach worldwide.

Speaking to the press after the WTO meeting, Mr. Ma said, “The G20 leaders have acknowledged the importance of freer, more inclusive and innovation-driven trade to extend the benefits of globalization to those that have been left behind in the current model. The eWTP will benefit small and medium-sized businesses and consumers. It is about the people, not big business.”

Mr. Azevêdo said, “Trade has been at the top of the agenda here in Hangzhou – at both the G20 and B20 summits – with leaders calling for trade to be at the heart of efforts towards global growth. As part of this, we must trade more inclusively–allowing everyone to take part and feel the benefits. That means trade must work for SMEs.”

“One vital element will be to ensure that SMEs can access online commercial platforms. That’s why the discussion on digital trade is so important, including the proposal for an Electronic World Trade Platform–or eWTP. This idea, in which Alibaba has played an important role, was one of the key recommendations adopted by the B20 and noted in the G20 leaders communique. I welcome Jack Ma’s leadership on this front, ” added Mr. Azevêdo.

“Making progress here will require a global approach–and therefore the WTO, which sets global trade rules, is looking at how to take work on e-commerce forward, including for the benefit of SMEs and development. I look forward to working with Jack in that effort,” concluded Mr. Azevêdo.

The G20 was also occasion for representative trade and commercial organizations in many countries to sign agreements and discuss cooperation with Alibaba in the areas of access to the Chinese consumer market, travel and tourism, and investment, including organizations from Australia, Canada, Italy and Russia.

Visit Alizila.com, Alibaba’s official news hub, for more coverage of G20-related events http://www.alizila.com/mas-call-for-inclusive-trade-heard-by-g20-wto/

About Alibaba Group
Alibaba Group’s mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. It is the largest retail commerce company in the world in terms of gross merchandise volume. Founded in 1999, the company provides the fundamental technology infrastructure and marketing reach to help merchants, brands and other businesses that provide products, services and digital content to leverage the power of the Internet to engage with their users and customers.

Source: Alibaba Group

###

Alibaba Group and Canadian Government to promote trade between Canadian small and medium-sized businesses and Chinese consumers

Alibaba Group and Canadian Government to promote trade between Canadian small and medium-sized businesses and Chinese consumers
Alibaba Group and Canadian Government to promote trade between Canadian small and medium-sized businesses and Chinese consumers

 

Hangzhou, China, 2016-Sep-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — Alibaba Group Executive Chairman Jack Ma and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today ( September 3, 2016) unveiled a declaration of cooperation that will strengthen efforts to promote trade between Canadian small and medium-sized businesses and Chinese consumers.

Both Mr. Ma and Prime Minister Trudeau said at a ceremony at Alibaba Group’s head office that the cooperation agreement empowers the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service and Alibaba to work together to expand the two-way flow of goods, services and people. The two sides will strategize on how to use e-commerce to stimulate trade, with opportunities for Canadian small and medium-sized exporters.

“Today, I am pleased we are formalizing our efforts to have Alibaba serve as the gateway to China for Canadian businesses of all sizes,” Mr. Ma said. “Our agreements today represent a great opportunity for Canada and for China. It is a new chapter in our future together.”

“Today is a very good day for Canadian businesses. They now have a permanent e-home on the world’s biggest online shopping site – Alibaba – and with it, the ability to reach over 400 million Chinese consumers. There is significant potential for further business development with Alibaba, which would encourage Chinese tourism to Canada, create jobs at home and strengthen our middle-class,” said Prime Minister Trudeau.

The ceremony also highlighted two other milestones:

Mr. Ma and Prime Minister Trudeau launched the Canadian Pavilion on Alibaba’s shopping platform, Tmall Global. The Canadian Pavilion makes it possible for Canadian businesses large and small to directly reach Chinese consumers. It was launched with more than 30 businesses participating, selling more than 100 products. It will feature special promotions for unique Canadian products such as apparel, ice wine, maple syrup, seafood and health products.

Mr. Ma and Prime Minister Trudeau also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Air Canada, the country’s largest air carrier, and Alitrip, Alibaba’s online travel booking platform, providing Chinese consumers with a range of travel and vacation packages, as well as visa application services.

The MOU links Air Canada with Alitrip’s customer base and marketing resources to tap China’s burgeoning travel demand for Canada. Air Canada agreed to open a flagship store on the Alitrip platform. Both agreed to work together to develop marketing initiatives and carry out joint marketing promotions.

About Alibaba Group
Alibaba Group’s mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. It is the largest retail commerce company in the world in terms of gross merchandise volume. Founded in 1999, the company provides the fundamental technology infrastructure and marketing reach to help merchants, brands and other businesses that provide products, services and digital content to leverage the power of the Internet to engage with their users and customers.

Source: Alibaba Group

Alibaba’s Jack Ma joins Starbucks Howard Schultz to discuss the role and responsibility of 21st Century companies

  • Long-term China growth aspirations on-track with 2,000 stores
  • Reaffirms Employer of Choice commitment with largest-ever Partner-Family Forum in Chengdu and China partner experience investments
  • Continued innovation in customer experience through Starbucks social gifting
  • Alibaba Group Founder and Executive Chairman, Jack Ma, joins Starbucks chairman and ceo, Howard Schultz, to discuss the role and responsibility of 21st Century companies

CHENGDU, China, 2016-1-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — Howard Schultz, chairman and chief executive officer, Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX) today reaffirmed the strategic role of the China market in shaping the future of the company with the announcement of several market-leading initiatives, further elevating the unique Starbucks Experience for partners (employees) and customers.

Schultz and other company leaders announced the initiatives at Starbucks China Partner-Family Forum in Chengdu where they joined more than 1,300 Central and Western China region partners and their family members to experience Starbucks mission and values together and celebrated the 2,000 store milestone achievement.

“As Starbucks second largest and fastest-growing market globally, China represents the most important and exciting opportunity ahead of us,” said Schultz. “We are deeply humbled by the enthusiasm with which Chinese people have embraced Starbucks as part of their daily ritual over the past 17 years. Over time, it’s conceivable that China could become our largest market and I am grateful to our 30,000 dedicated China partners and their supportive families for the significant contributions they are making to Starbucks success. The continued investments we are making, coupled with the culture of innovation we have established, are elevating Starbucks partner and customer experience beyond that of any other retailer in China.”

Joining Schultz on stage at the Partner Family Forum was Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, where both leaders shared their vision to redefine the roles and responsibilities of a for-profit public company – one that invests in its people, giving back to the local communities in meaningful ways, and creating unique developmental opportunities for the youth of today.

In his introduction of Ma at the Starbucks China Partner Family Forum, Schultz said, “When he and I get together we’re talking about common values and we’re talking about humanity.  Together building the kind of companies our parents would be proud of.  I asked him to come here and share with you his thoughts about building his company and share with you what it means to succeed against all odds in China.”

In addressing the Starbucks Partner Family Forum Ma said, “Alibaba hopes to work together with Starbucks to create even more opportunities to develop Chinese youth because they are our future. All of you at today’s event represent China’s future. The more seeds of love we sow in our Chinese youth today, the more love they will give to the world tomorrow.”

Unparalleled Partner Investments

The Partner Family Forum is a first-of-its-kind employee engagement event, first introduced by Starbucks China in 2012, as part of a series of new initiatives aimed to honor the special role families play in China. Today’s event highlights Starbucks aspiration to build  the world’s most admired and trusted company, while recognizing the significant contributions partners have made and will continue to play in the company’s success in China. The Starbucks Central and Western region is one of the fastest growing regions in China, having tripled its store footprint over the past three years, now operates more than 300 stores across 23 cities.

In addressing Starbucks China partners and family members at the standing room only Partner Family Forum in Chengdu, Schultz said, “I am so incredibly proud of what you (Starbucks China partners) have accomplished. And I promise you (the parents of Starbucks partners) we will grow this company the right way.  I am a true believer in the future of China because of the humanity and the heart and the conscience of the Chinese people. And we will do everything we can to continue to build a great and enduring company that you and your parents can be proud of.”

Beginning this month, full-time baristas and shift supervisors* in Starbucks company-owned stores across China will receive a monthly housing allowance subsidy to help them overcome the initial financial challenges of starting their careers and often, living and working independently. This benefit is expected to on-average to cover 50-percent of their monthly housing expenditures, enabling partners who are starting in their careers the ability to better take care of themselves, while they pursue their personal and professional dreams.

In addition, Starbucks China will introduce the Career Coffee Break, a partner benefit tradition from the U.S., to recognize, appreciate and honor the hard work put in by long serving partners. Starting this month, Starbucks partners within our company-operated store with 10 consecutive years of service will be eligible to apply for a career coffee break, of up to 12 months unpaid leave, to refresh themselves and more importantly, spend quality time with their loved ones and family. The partner will be guaranteed reinstatement to either the same position or a position with similar pay and benefits upon their return to work. The partner’s social and company benefits will also continue during the career coffee break.

“These and other industry-leading partner investments demonstrate our continued commitment to support our China partners to achieve their personal and professional aspirations,” said Belinda Wong, president, Starbucks China. “Families play a tremendous role in the life and career choices for our partners in China and it’s important that we include their families in the conversation of who we are as a company and the investments we’re making toward supporting our partners’ future.”

Starbucks has always believed that success is best when shared. The current pay and benefits programs have reflected the company’s commitment to take care of its partners and their families by offering comprehensive health insurance to full-and part-time partners, and the Starbucks Bean Stock program which gives all partners equity in the company. In addition to the ongoing training and development opportunities at the Starbucks China University, last year the company introduced the Starbucks China Talent Exchange Program for retail partners. In 2015, 16 partners started their international one-year exchange program in Singapore, while another 32 partners have had the opportunity to work in various store locations across China.

Starbucks was named China Best Employer by Aon Hewitt twice consecutively in 2013 and 2015, and China Best Employer Award and Best HR Management Company by Zhaopin and 51job, China’s leading human resource portals, respectively.

Elevating the Customer Experience

Over the past 17 years, Starbucks has been incredibly humbled by how its Chinese customers have come to embrace its stores as a community gathering place. Innovating the customer experience is core to the company and Starbucks once again delivered on this commitment with the opening of an e-flagship store on Alibaba’s Tmall last month, China’s largest open business-to-consumer (B2C) platform. As Starbucks first social gifting platform in China, the Starbucks Tmall e-flagship store  enables customers to foster deeper and more meaningful connections with their friends and loved ones by giving them a convenient and easy way to send a Starbucks gift digitally.  Customers have embraced this new social gifting concept with great enthusiasm. The store has more than 300,000 registered fans and has become the number one performing brand on Tmall’s “Food and Beverage” category within its first month.

“Digital is highly relevant to our customers in China and we are committed to building a locally-relevant Starbucks 4th-place Experience that seamlessly integrates our unique store experience and the digital space, while building moments of human connection for our customers” added Wong. “We will learn from the experiences in our other markets and explore new strategic partnerships with leading platforms to enable the Starbucks China digital flywheel. More awaits us as we implement new digital experience innovations to surprise, delight and exceed the expectations of our Chinese customers.”

Starbucks continues to elevate and innovate its unsurpassed coffee experience at the forefront of its stores for the Chinese customer. Over the past two years, Starbucks opened 45 Starbucks Reserve stores and introduced the pour-over slow bar in 150 stores across China. The Starbucks Reserve stores are specialized store experiences in China devoted to highlighting some of the world’s most exotic, rare and exquisite coffees that are available in limited quantities globally.

As Starbucks accelerates its growth in China to achieve its goal to operate 3,400 stores by 2019, so too will its foundational aspiration to build a different kind of company – one committed to being performance-driven through the lens of humanity. Through the Starbucks China Youth Development Program introduced in June 2014, the company has convened numerous leading experts to establish a unique curriculum focused on developing future leaders in China. 1,500 university students, from both urban and rural areas, and those with disadvantaged backgrounds, will benefit from the program over three years.

*across all company operated markets with a minimum of  six-months with Starbucks China required for eligibility.

Extended captions for photos above:

Starbucks chairman and ceo, Howard Schultz, greets partners (employees) and their family members at Starbucks Partner Family Forum in Chengdu China on Tuesday January 12, 2016.

Starbucks chairman and ceo, Howard Schultz, addresses more than 1,300 company partners (employees) and their family members at Starbucks largest-ever Partner Family Forum in Chengdu China on Tuesday January 12, 2016.

Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group (left), and Starbucks chairman and ceo, Howard Schultz (right), shared their visions with more than 1,300 Starbucks partners (employees) and their family members on redefining the role and responsibility of 21st Century public companies at Starbucks Partner Family Forum in Chengdu China on Tuesday January 12, 2016.

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SOURCE:  Starbucks Corporation

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Jack Ma and Howard Schultz, China Partner Family Forum

Jack Ma and Howard Schultz, China Partner Family Forum