Blog Hashbrown

The Incantation of Abracadabra by Alibaba

The company is not just a retailer... it is the retailer.


Aastha Khanna

Despite the troubled state of the economy in general this fiscal year, Alibaba achieved the historic milestone of $1 trillion in gross merchandise volume (GMV) across the digital economy. The milestone reflects the vitality of Alibaba’s digital economy and its strong execution against a clear strategic vision. 

The company’s scale has reached one-sixth of China’s total retail sales, which was about $6 trillion last year. When it comes to digitization, on the consumer side, shopping online has become a habit for more people and in more product categories. And on the retail side, online sales are no longer an option but a necessity for the brick-and-mortars. 

More than a retailer 

By the measure of GMV, Alibaba is the world’s largest retailer, but to call Alibaba a retailer is not entirely accurate. It is a digital middleman with almost 700 million users per month. This includes retailers who, on other platforms, might be considered competition, but with Alibaba they are looked upon as partners. 

Alibaba Cloud 

Today, Alibaba’s business units offer a data-driven digital ecosystem including a payments platform, mobile media and entertainment, marketing services and local services, all powered by its cloud business. 

Alibaba Cloud continued its rapid growth in the past fiscal year, with revenue reaching RMB40 billion, an increase of 62% year-on-year.  

Digital growth 

In the past quarter, their digital media and entertainment business delivered healthy growth in paying subscribers and user time spent, as user consumption of video content increased significantly during these unprecedented times. 

Encouraging business 

Alibaba also implemented a comprehensive set of financial and business support measures to alleviate the near-term challenges faced by their business customers and partners. As of March 31, 2020, Alibaba together with Ant Financial, have contributed approximately RMB3.4 billion in value in the form of donations, subsidies and technical support. 

The Spring Thunder Initiative 

In April 2020, the company announced the 2020 Spring Thunder Initiative, which aims to help export-oriented SMEs explore opportunities in the China domestic market through the China retail marketplaces, and expand into new markets through their international wholesale and retail marketplaces such as and AliExpress.  

What started about two decades ago as a business-to-business (B2B) platform connecting smaller buyers and sellers, has grown to include almost 30 distinct business units serving the Chinese and global markets. 

In the past two decades, Alibaba has developed comprehensive infrastructure and capabilities built on digital technology for business, financial services, logistics, cloud computing and big data.  

SMEs need to adopt such strategies to not only build more potential but also stay ahead of their game. They need to scale in a fast, reliable and economical way. 

We at Hashbrown Systems have consistently helped small and large enterprise clients, start-ups across retail, financial services and others to scale through cloud services in a disruptive way. 

If you’re looking to unlock the benefits of cloud for your business, contact us to take our services and scale your business. 

More Hashbrown Stories

Hashbrown Systems Case Studies

Bubna Advertising

Our first case study briefly analyses the first outdoor monitoring and compliance system for the largest outdoor agency in India by volume.

Case study


Our OOH Audit & Monitoring System uses Machine Learning techniques and a uniquely crafted allocation model to optimize fund allocation for 88 billboard locations, a breakthrough in the Out-of-Home Advertising & Marketing industry.

Case study

Spotlight - Brand Sales & Distribution

An overview of digital transformation that employed cloud computing, data analytics, machine learning and location intelligence to create a constantly connected and data driven enterprise.

Case study

Building Digital Infrastructure for the Physical World

A triumphant tale of putting IOT to work for Out-of-home media owners and advertisers.

Case study