Amid B2B shift, Singles Day is also a showcase for Alibaba’s tech

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(Image credit: Alibaba)

Alibaba Cloud disclosed details of core technologies that underpinned its Nov. 11 Singles Day shopping event, developments that it is offering to third parties as it pushes further into enterprise-facing services to boost growth.

Why it matters: Supporting consumer demand from the world’s second-largest economy has helped catalyze new technology development and applications, which China’s e-commerce platforms are selling as a service to third parties, particularly small- and medium-sized businesses.

  • Alibaba began shifting focus to its enterprise-facing business at the beginning of the year, monetizing technology developed for its own business units through service offerings such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and logistics support.
  • E-commerce rival JD is also opening up its technologies to more partners with the launch of a digitization solution for financial institutions.

Details: Powered by its third-generation X-Dragon architecture, Alibaba Cloud processed orders totaling $38.4 billion in 24 hours with zero downtime, according to a statement sent to TechNode.

  • Alibaba Cloud’s POLARDB database supported sales activity including a peak of 87 million requests processed per second.
  • Alime Shop Assistant, a customer-service chatbot available in 11 languages, handled 97% of online customer inquiries on Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms Taobao and Tmall during 11.11.
  • Alibaba DAMO Academy provided machine translation for cross-border e- commerce platform AliExpress, translating store and product pages into 21 languages including Russian, Spanish, Turkish, French, and Arabic for buyers in Europe, Asia, the Americas, and the Middle East.
  • Livestreams on Taobao Live earned RMB 20 billion in sales on Singles Day, enabled by a newly launched real-time communications framework for audio and video on Alibaba Cloud.
  • During the sales event, more than one million orders were placed and processed through voice commands using Tmall Genie, A.I. Labs’ smart speaker.

Context: Cloud computing is the foundation for Alibaba’s growth.

  • The firm’s cloud computing revenue grew 64% year on year to RMB 9.29 billion during the quarter ended Sept. 30.

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