What happened: Alibaba’s retail management platform Tao and Alibaba Cloud’s IoT team will partner up with 200 traditional garment factories to monitor their production data with the help of AI technology. Cameras will be installed in the factories for data collection and Tao Factory will synchronize the production process through computer vision algorithms. Already 20 factories are piloting the upgrade.
Why it’s important: Jack Ma presented its “new manufacturing” model at last week’s Cloud Computing Conference. Many are expecting that the trend will conquer China just as “new retail.” As a previous research by Alibaba and Boston Consulting Group shows, manufacturing has become an important part of the online retail ecosystem. Fast fashion has made manufacturers more flexible than ever, offering smaller volumes and frequent changes to production lines. Fast-react suppliers allow companies to sell products before they are even manufactured. This is where “new manufacturing” meets “new retail”: by using data insight and following trends, e-commerce platforms can give shoppers exactly what they want at the right time.