Talented young minds from universities in China, Spain and Singapore have been hailed as winners of the 2023 Alibaba Global E-commerce Challenge organized by Alibaba International Digital Commerce Group (AIDC) after a series of rigorous competitions both at the regional and the global levels.
The 2023 Alibaba Global E-commerce Challenge aimed to identify young talent from around the world that can help shape the future of AIDC. Open to university students and recent university graduates worldwide, participants were tasked to develop creative solutions to problems inspired by some of AIDC’s real day-to-day businesses scenarios.
Since launching in March, this year’s competition has received an overwhelming response with around 3,500 individuals representing 141 renowned universities from 59 countries and regions participating. After the intense regional rounds held in Europe, the Americas, East Asia and Southeast Asia, nine teams were selected to enter the global finals held in Singapore from April 27-28. The finalists vied for the top three spots by pitching live to a judging panel formed by AIDC executives, to present their proposals around market opportunities and strategies for some of the businesses under AIDC, including Alibaba.com, AliExpress and Lazada.
Team “Chunyi Capital,” formed by students from Peking University, took first place of the global finals for their innovative approach and teamwork, while Team “Checkout Champs” and Team “Merlion Consulting,” formed by students from ESADE Business School and National University of Singapore respectively, earned second and third place. The three winning teams were awarded prizes worth up to 50,000 yuan ($7,233). In addition, AIDC will extend internship offers to select participants of the global finals.
To enhance the finalists’ experience during their time in Singapore, AIDC arranged a tour of its Singapore office for all participants to allow them to gain a deeper understanding of its organization, interact with the AIDC team, and witness its operations in action.
“The background of this project dates back to 2019, when despite the limitations imposed by the epidemic, we aimed to gather insights through this initiative and enable diverse students to participate in co-creating the Internet. This aligns with our focus on globalization as participants from various fields such as aviation technology, medicine, history, AI and philosophy have shown keen interest in shaping the future of the Internet. It is evident that young people worldwide are enthusiastic about internet development irrespective of their majors. The assessment criteria include evaluating attitudes towards internet development, chosen topics and one’s own country along with entrepreneurial spirit and teamwork,” said Andy Lui, the Program Director of the 2023 Alibaba Global E-Commerce Challenge, while speaking to Pandaily.
Lui addressed concerns about the potential impact of geopolitics on the competition. “The topics of the competition are not tied to any specific country. Our focus is on internet development and meeting global consumer needs. We aim to minimize barriers between countries and provide better experiences and products for local consumers.”
According to Lui, both Alibaba and participants stand to benefit from the competition. Outstanding individuals may be offered internships at Alibaba, with some projects potentially becoming part of Alibaba‘s own initiatives after one or two years.