- Alibaba has been helping farmers sell their produce during the coronavirus pandemic.
- The latest developments are viewed as a positive by Alibaba investors who have been worried about increased crackdowns on the company.
- Alibaba appears to be in the government’s good books again.
The Chinese government has praised Alibaba Group for supporting its poverty eradication policy. This is because the firm has helped farmers sell over $150 billion worth of farm produce via its platforms. Due to its food distribution efforts, the agency has been hailed as a model for poverty eradication in the country.
The conglomerate has also received a certificate for related innovations. It has been using AI algorithms to provide production insights to farmers, for example, while providing training, and credit to farmers in rural areas.
Last year, the company unveiled its “Love to Help Farmers” initiative to harness the power of a digital economy and build independent food supply chains targeting unmarketable agricultural products. The program was aimed at ensuring a reliable food supply to urban areas while keeping prices stable.
Alibaba Helped to Solve Logistical Problems During the Pandemic
When the coronavirus outbreak began, mass layoffs impacted the agricultural industry to a great extent nationwide. Major markets also got closed, and road blockades put up. Consequently, delivery of farm produce emerged as one of the main challenges.
Some regions such as Hainan Province grappled with surplus quantities of over 200,000 tons of vegetables and fruits. The situation led to major losses due to their short shelf-life.
Alibaba designed food supply and distribution programs set up to counter these problems. They benefited farmers greatly during this time.
Apart from receiving a certificate, China’s President Xi Jinping also lauded the company’s recent food supply chain efforts during a ceremony on Thursday.
The latest developments are viewed as a positive by Alibaba investors who have been worried about increased crackdowns on the company.The e-commerce giant is the largest of its kind in China with an estimated $640 billion market capitalization.
Authorities have been on its case since last year when its founder, Jack Ma, chided Chinese regulatory authorities for enacting backward policies. Subsequent investigations on its operations soon led to the halting of its planned Ant Group IPO which was set to raise a substantial $37 billion.
controversy and negative coverage that ensued led to founder Jack Ma moving away from the limelight for a while, a move that sparked concerns about his whereabouts.
According to an article published by The People’s Daily, China’s state-run newspaper, technology companies should take more responsibility for their actions and this is what the government wants.
“Internet giants with massive amounts of data and advanced algorithms should have more responsibility, more aspirations, and more accomplishments in technological innovation,” it stated.
The message to tech companies was clear. They would be safe so long as they abided by party policies. According to some analysts, the latest Alibaba commendations are great but do not totally alleviate the risk of clampdowns emerging in the future.
The developments only mean that Alibaba may be off the hook for now.