Chinese media outlet LatePost reported that on Wednesday, the day upon which the pre-sale of Alibaba’s popular ‘11.11 Shopping Festival’ opened, Alvin Liu, President of Tmall Supermarket and the Import and Export Business Unit, issued an internal letter saying that the business group has been upgraded to a business to customer (‘B2C’) retail business group.
The main adjustments are to establish a Future Clients for Customer Unit, a Supply Chain Management Center and a Risk Management Center.
The Future Clients for Customer Unit is composed of the former Kaola Business Unit and the former Mobile Tmall Business Unit, and will maintain independent operation of dual brands. The general manager of the division is Zhao Kun, the former head of the Intelligent Service Division of DAMO Academy, who reports to Alvin Liu.
According to an Alibaba employee, the upgrade of this business group means that Alibaba has set up a self-operated business with an equal scale of Taobao. Furthermore, the supply chain now becomes a separate department, which shows that Alibaba is determined to invest in self-operated business.
In Alibaba‘s latest financial report, income from self-operated businesses including Gaoxin Retail, Tmall Supermarket, Hema Fresh, Kaola and Yintai has accounted for 27% of its total revenue, while Alibaba‘s traditional core income source – customer management fees – accounted for 39%. However, the former increased by 82% year-on-year, much higher than the latter.
In addition, this internal letter announced that Lü Jianmei, the former head of Kaola, has transferred to become the general manager of Tmall International Business Department. Previously, she was the head of Tmall’s export business and COO of Kaola.