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Alibaba brings its one-day global course to Singapore for the first time

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Vice-president of Alibaba Group Brian Wong giving a speech at the Alibaba Global Course.

E-COMMERCE giant Alibaba brought its one-day Alibaba Global Course (AGC), a series of public lectures on e-commerce and related trends, to Singapore on Thursday.

Representatives from primarily Chinese companies, such as interior furniture design brand Suofeiya, department store chain Intime as well as Alibaba's own management, shared their experiences in the e-commerce industry.

For example, Zhao Kun, senior director of Alibaba Group, AI services, said that Alibaba's strategy was to bridge the gap between online and offline retail. In terms of customer service, he added that Alibaba used an online chat bot, Alimebot, to help pre-determine customers' needs and provide on-the-spot help online when needed.

Other speakers, like chief technology officer of Intime Yan Xue Kun, spoke about the need to constantly revolutionise and upgrade, and the ways to optimise businesses and resources to best ensure that customers receive a seamless and positive experience.

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More than 2,000 participants, representing 600 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and multinational companies (MNCs), attended the course, making it the largest AGC to date globally.

The global course was first introduced last year, with stops in Malaysia and Indonesia. Singapore is the first stop for the global course this year. Other planned stops later this year include India, Australia, the United States, Mexico and Europe.

During the AGC, Alibaba also announced a 30-month extension of its partnership with Nanyang Polytechnic's Singapore Institute of Retail Studies (SIRS), which was first signed in 2016.

Covered under this extension, Singapore-based businesses will be able to access courses via a customised online learning platform developed by Taobao University for the first time.

Additionally, businesses can also look forward to online courses more tailored to the local business landscape and considerations.

Megan Ong, director of SIRS, said: "With the extension of this partnership with Taobao University, we look forward to continuing our efforts to equip the local retail industry with the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully tap into the vast e-commerce global market."