Alibaba to form alliances to innovate the IoT industry, says CEO Daniel Zhang

Heather Wang in Hangzhou

Daniel Zhang, the CEO of Alibaba Group, spoke on Thursday about Alibaba’s strategy to form alliances with the likes of Intel and CTA for new moves in the Internet of Things (IoT) industry. He spoke at the Tmall 11.11 Global Innovation and Smart Living Summit.

According to Zhang, the future will be IoT oriented, and consumers are demanding a new generation of products.

Alibaba hopes to make use of its user base, cloud business, and infrastructure to innovate in the IoT industry.

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Daniel Zhang, Alibaba CEO

According to Alibaba’s Q2 2016 fiscal report, published on Wednesday, annual active buyers on its China retail marketplaces reached 439 million people, an increase of five million in the 12-month period ending in June.

On top of that, Alibaba’s cloud business is emerging as a profit engine for the company. Alibaba’s revenue grew 55% in Q2 2016, and revenue from cloud computing increased 130% year-on-year to RMB 1.49 billion (USD 224 million).

In preparation to develop an ecosystem, the tech giant has been developing its online payment tool, Alipay, and logistics arm, Cainiao, within its own system. According to Zhang, this is the infrastructure for development of a new ecosystem.

Data shows that IoT may be the next big thing after smartphones. Growth in global smartphone shipments is predicted to drop to 3.1% in 2016 from 10.5% in 2015, according to IDC. For hardware makers, IoT may become their next battlefield.

In this Double 11 shopping festival, the company will launch products by its partners, according to Zhang.

(Top photo from Baidu Images)

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