Friday, May 24, 2019

Alibaba Tech Festival - Silicon Valley & Game of Thrones Season 8 Finale

Alibaba Tech Festival - Silicon Valley

Alibaba, Jack Ma's empire has always been very active in Silicon Valley, trying to recruit the top talents. Traditionally it was mainly focused on somewhat cutting edge technologies. e.g, big data in the old days (while everyone is talking about it), cloud, and nowadays machine learning / AI of course. However, this time, the Taobao Team (淘系技术) was in town and shared some of the interesting projects they are working on.  This is mainly due to the early vision shifts from Jack Ma that technology should drive business instead of the old vision, business is key, technology plays only a secondary supporting role.

What is Taobao(淘宝), TMall(天猫) & Xianyu (闲鱼)?  

Taobao is the largest e-commerce platform in China, with over 600M monthly active users. Think about the size 1.4B Chinese, 1B has internet access, almost half of entire China is using Taobao. It is mostly C2C where TMall is B2C.They also have Xianyu(闲鱼), which is a second hand marketplace. 

Just to give another prospective, Alibaba single-handedly created a new holiday in China called Singles' Day (光棍节,双十一), where single day it creates $30B worth of spending.

Alibaba Tech Festival at Silicon Valley

A Swag, everyday struggle, but work makes me happy 😂

New Retails (新零售)

Alibaba is one of the pioneers of e-commerce innovation and they have proposed this new concept called "New Retails". So what exactly is the new retails idea? We lived through shopping from offline to online, then online back to offline due to certain limitations. E.g., you might want to try on lots of clothes or makeups before you buy them, and online shopping cannot really satisfy that. Moreover, some people might want to hear other's opinions whether the clothes looks good or not before they buy it, they have to be in store and talk to others. Therefore, the new retails idea is digitizing every thing in store and you can shop offline, but you can view all the items info online, place the order online and expect the items to be shipped home in a few hours.

Below is a very good article on the store Alibaba built in Hangzhou.

A few interesting things I learned from the talk
  • Taobao is also all in in AI, so that everybody's shopping / recommendation experience is highly customized.
  • Wechat is No.1 chatting app in China, and Taobao's chat is actually No. 2. Taobao also has a large video live features for sellers to better engage the buyers, it's literally like a TikTok on its own 
  • Alibaba has built extensive tools for sellers to manage all their inventory, brand, marketing etc. 
  • They have tried many ideas in the Fashion AI field. I used to think having 3D AR technology could perfectly solve the clothes fitting requirement, apparently based on Alibaba that's not the case. That's why they use image recognition to split the body into three parts and try different clothes/dress match up.

  • Alibaba is a giant company, if you look at their org chart, it's crazy 

Game of Thrones Season 8 Finale

完全的题外话,这个剧我追了8年,md最后给了我们这个一个沙雕的结局,当大家是弱智呀?!这才是官方实锤的版本, 我也是这么认为的,当年2017年这个版本所谓被黑客泄露之后,我读了觉得完全靠谱,大家可以看看,欢迎讨论




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