Alibaba in the Community
Alibaba Group aspires to be a company that creates value for society. Since the company’s humble beginnings, our core mission has been to make doing business easy for people around the world. By changing the way small businesses and entrepreneurs conduct business and giving consumers access to a broader selection of products and services, our various e-commerce properties are playing a leading role in creating jobs and grassroots economic opportunities in China and around the world as well as enriching the lives of millions of consumers.
Alibaba Group is also highly involved in sustainable corporate responsibility projects as a way to contribute to offline and online social development and empower the less fortunate around the world. Those projects include:
Incubating E-commerce Talent
We believe that businesses with an open attitude towards new ideas and a global vision, coupled with e-commerce capabilities, will more likely survive and thrive in the information age. As such, we invest a lot of resources into incubating a pool of qualified e-commerce talent from which small businesses can draw upon. Since 2004, Alibaba Group has been providing small businesses and individuals alike with online and offline training courses in e-commerce and enterprise management through Ali-Institute. As it grew in scale, Ali-Institute began to operate under a commercialized model in July 2009 to provide educational services in a more systematic manner. Alibaba Group also operates Taobao University, a similar educational service focused on Taobao Marketplace, to help boost the competitiveness and service standard of corporate and individual Taobao storefront managers and operators.
Our other efforts in promoting e-commerce include, among others, collaboration with Hangzhou Normal University to operate the Alibaba Business School; a young scholars support program aimed at encouraging e-commerce research; employment training for the physically challenged; and the Global Netrepreneur of the Year Award, an award program which honors excellence in e-commerce.
Promoting Global Business Dialogue
As an industry pioneer, Alibaba Group co-hosts the annual e-commerce summit "AliFest" in Hangzhou, China in association with the Hangzhou municipal government. Thousands of netrepeneurs (short for “Internet entrepreneurs”) attend the event to exchange ideas and learn from the experiences of global thought leaders. Past keynote speakers have included former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Thomas Friedman. Since 2000, Alibaba Group has also hosted the West Lake Summit several times for stakeholders ranging from businesspeople to government officials and industry leaders to discuss ways that they can work together to advance the Internet industry and e-commerce environment.
Over the past few years, Alibaba Group has made air and water quality its top priorities in environmental protection as they are essential to our health and well-being. Apart from making day-to-day recycling and resource conservation efforts to control waste within the company, we also mobilize our resources to spearhead special green projects such as the Clean Water Initiative, which aims at exploring ways to resolve water pollution problems in China.
As our commitment to cultivating a greener society, we have since 2010 earmarked 0.3% of our annual revenue to fund efforts designed to spur environmental awareness and conservation. Alibaba Group also acts as a responsible e-commerce platform operator by banning from our marketplaces all product postings related to shark’s fins, ivory, bear bile, cat and dog fur and meat, and various other products made from endangered animals. Our company also has regular contact with animal welfare organizations for related training, initiatives and new policy creation.
Alibaba Group has been contributing to the rebuilding efforts in China’s Sichuan Province since the tragic 5.12 earthquake which occurred in 2008. In addition to organizing a variety of charity programs to help those who were affected transition back to their normal lives, we also established a special long-term program to drive the development of rural e-commerce and create jobs in Qingchuan County, one of the areas most affected by earthquake damage. It is our belief that strategic offering of means or know-how instead of solely financial contributions can better help victims sustain their own livelihood. Part of this special program, which remains very active to this day, includes setting up an e-commerce training center there and providing free e-commerce training so as to help local merchants start their own online ventures and achieve self-sustainability.
Alibaba Group reaches out to places beyond China to help other devastating situations as well. For example, after the earthquake near Honshu, Japan in 2011, we mobilized our online community to donate cash and much needed necessities to the victims. Through organizations such as the One Foundation and China Red Cross, we have made donations whenever there was a need to areas as far as eastern Africa and the Caribbean often plagued with disasters or adverse weather conditions.
Encouraging Community Service
To cultivate a sense of social responsibility within the company, Alibaba Group encourages and creates opportunities for employees to actively participate in community service and philanthropic programs. Among other efforts, we established the “community startup fund” several years back to sponsor meaningful, sustainable social care initiatives designed and run by our employees every year. In January 2012, we officially established the Alibaba Foundation with a sizeable fund dedicated to social causes such as raising public awareness of environmental protection and helping the development of disadvantaged people. The use of the funds is wholly determined by a committee of staff representatives selected by vote, which underscores our commitment to professionalism in utilizing our resources to give back to society.
For further details of Alibaba Group’s corporate social responsibility initiatives, please visit http://view.china.alibaba.com/cms/shichang/csr/csr.html (available in Chinese only).