Information technologies continue to revolutionize retail, entertainment, finance, manufacturing and other industries. By 2035, China's digital economy will reach $16 trillion, with 415 million jobs created accumulatively. That compares with $1.4 trillion in 2015.
"If not for the robust growth of the Internet and the sharing economy, China would have been under unprecedented employment pressure, weighed down by slowing GDP growth," says Zhang Yansheng, director of the National Development and Reform Commission's Institute for International Economics Research. "Digital businesses are not taking jobs away from traditional sectors; they are creating new jobs."
Of the over 400 million jobs in China, Alibaba itself is expected to account for just over 100 million – in direct or indirect employment. As well, it is expected to create around 10 million jobs though its international businesses, including Alibaba Cloud, AliExpress, One Touch and Lazada.
Data has the ability to breakdown misconceptions, take the fear out of the unknown and enable SMEs and small manufacturers to flourish. B2B online sales are expected to hit $6.7 trillion by 2020 and account for around 27% of total global manufacturing trade. SMEs suppliers in India, Southeast Asia, Middle East and Africa are set to benefit. Parts of Eastern Europe will do too.
B2B online relationships are expected to grow from one-to-many to many-to-many, as marketplaces become more common and cross-industry public platforms, such as Alibaba, gain B2B prominence. A transition to seller-driven platforms is also likely, as online relationships become less about procurement and more about selling.
SMEs in the more developed markets of Western Europe and North America will also benefit from this new far more inclusive form of globalization. For them, data will facilitate business, allowing for just-in-time delivery of the latest designs to meet customer needs. The faster supply chains will mean less inventory and less wastage.
Alibaba.com and its big data solutions give SMEs much-needed access to services typically reserved by large multinationals. Learn all about how big data helps both buyers and sellers research and plan future business in Alibaba's Unlocking Opportunities for SMEs white paper.