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What Jack Ma Talks About When He Talks About New Retail

By ESC Editorial Team, over 5 years ago Business
What Jack Ma Talks About When He Talks About New Retail

Zeng Ming, Chairman of Academic Committee of Alibaba Group as well as the Dean of Education at Hupan University (Hupan University, initiated by a bunch of famous entrepreneurs and academics, aims to cultivate a new generation of outstanding entrepreneurs with entrepreneurial spirit.), delivered an impressive speech at the 2017 Computing Conference. If Jack Ma is Alibaba’s concept maker, Zeng Ming is undoubtedly his best interpreter. Here is a summary of his speech. 

“New Retail is just one of the five topics that Jack Ma has raised to meet the new economy, which also includes new retail, new manufacture, new finance, new energy source and new technology. New retail is just a small part in the business chain, so we have to analyse it from a perspective involving manufacture, financing and supply chain, or it will be hard for us to understand the latest changes in the industry.

The essence of new retail is new technology: data and algorithms are playing an increasingly important role in today’s production. They are the driving force of advanced productivity that differs from the traditional one such as steel or electricity at industrial times. The future of New Retail depends on the most up-to-date technologies, such as data, algorithms and artificial intelligence. 

Though people are engaging in heated debates about the integration of online and offline, it would be more important to discuss concepts on which this should be based and what ways we should adopt to realise the integration. Innovation is never an easy thing; to subvert traditions is a big challenge. But luckily, there are huge opportunities for China where the middle class is expanding, the economic development is soaring and the process of upgrading consumption is under way, all of which will generate more space and potential for the development of the new retail industry.

If we have figured out the premises, it will be much easier to understand New Retail, which, in short, is the recombination of the traditional, vertical, closed supply chain in the traditional industrial age and leads to a completely new network of social cooperation. 

What if we consider this issue a little bit further, like what will happen in the commercial world in the future? Thanks to 20 years of hard work exploring the internet and commercial industry, we have now got a clearer picture of the coming business transformation. All business will become more intelligent in the future and we will be welcoming an era of smart business. 

Just by looking at several of the world’s most valuable companies such as Google, Amazon, eBay, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, you will find that they are all smart business enterprises. It is obvious that everything is being rapidly more intelligent with the advance of internet, cloud computing and big data. And this change is based on two very core mechanisms: one is network integration which refers to a more open reconstructed network, the other is intelligent data which is helping us to make more accurate data-driven decisions. 

An example of that: when our customers log into Taobao every day, they will be presented with a daily-updated personalised recommendation. It is impossible to complete this work manually and it all depends on the powerful intelligent machine and search engine.  

In a nutshell, enterprises in the future will be relying on smart business; Network Integration and Intelligent Data will be the two most important features of the new commercial civilisation.”

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