Alibaba is launching the ‘2020 Spring Thunder Initiative’ to help small and medium enterprises in China succeed during the trying circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19).
In a staff memo announcing the launch, chairman and chief executive Daniel Zhang said the initiative includes, but is not limited to helping export-focused SMEs expand into new markets through AliExpress, Lazada and Tmall World, The Drum reported.
He said Alibaba is also helping a subset of these SMEs transform and develop their business in the Chinese market through measures such as resource support, fee reductions and fast track processing.
To do this, Alibaba is activating manufacturing belts, incubating a group of “Super Producer IP” designations, and fostering 10 digitized manufacturing clusters with production output valued at tens of billions in RMB.
According to The Drum, it hopes these measures will help 1,000 factories realize direct-to-consumer sales of over RMB 100 million within three years and help the agricultural sector prosper through digitization and creating 1,000 Alibaba digitized agricultural centers across China.
During the 2008 financial crisis, Alibaba rolled out three major relief initiatives for SMEs to survive what was described as an “economic winter” for them. It claims the three initiatives – “Dark Cloud,” “Wild Winds” and “Spring Thunder” – collectively helped 40 million SMEs fully absorbed the confidence and conviction of its e-commerce platform to bring new life to their businesses.