May 20, 2020

Alibaba's Alipay to hold 24-hour Christmas shopping festival in partnership with CK Hutchison

Hong Kong
Singles Day
2 min
Alibaba's Alipay to hold 24-hour Christmas shopping festival in partnership with CK Hutchison

Alipay, Alibaba’s e-payment platform run by its Ant Financial arm, has announced it will launch a 24-hour Christmas shopping festival.

The event will be organised by a joint venture between CK Hutchison Holdings and Alipay, and it’s hoped that Alipay will benefit from expansion into key markets. The two companies partnered up in a 50-50 joint venture in September to extend the potential for Alipay’s services in Hong Kong.

See also:

China cracks down on false ecommerce advertising ahead of Single’s Day

Amazon Prime launches in Singapore

Business Review Asia – December issue out now!

The festival will take place in December 12th and be dubbed Double 12. It will operate across Hong Kong, India, Thailand and the Philippines.

Double 12 will build on the success of Singles Day, run by Alibaba a month previously. Singles day made This is a month after Singles Day which made the Alibaba Group a profit of $25.3bn last month.

Alipay’s partners for the project include Hutchison in Hong Kong, Paytm in India, Truemoney in Thailand and GCash in the Philippines.

The joint venture has also partnered with over 8,000 brick-and-mortar stores to make the sale a more offline experience than Singles Day was. There will also be a 1-dollar flash sale on groceries at Po Tat Market in Hong Kong.

Exclusive gifts, discounts and offers will be available throughout the month

According to Douglas Feagin, Senior Vice President and Head of International Operations at Ant Financial: “This concept is about developing Alipay globally, while also developing localised service offerings.”

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Jun 9, 2021

Q&A: Professor Loredana Padurean, Asia School of Business

Kate Birch
3 min
Teaching the MIT Sloan Executive Education program at Asia School of Business, Prof. Padurean talks innovation, smart skills and digital transformation

As someone who is creating Asia Pacific’s business leaders of the future, what do you believe are the essential skills leaders require?

In many ways, we need leaders who are Renaissance women/men or polymaths, as opposed to specialists of an industry or a field. A polymath is a person with profound knowledge, proficiency and expertise in multiple fields and today’s leaders have to be able to combine various ideas, look at problems in novel and useful ways, and develop a broad and yet still deep set of skills, talents, and knowledge.

You’ve coined ‘smart’ and ‘sharp’ as skills of the future. What are these?

They are replacements for ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ skills, a concept coined by a US Army doctor in 1972 who observed that his pupils had different skills: dealing with machinery required ‘hard’ skills, while dealing with people and paper were ‘soft’ skills. This concept has served us well since, but I find it too binary, not to mention the semantic implications of the words themselves.

Soft implies gentle, delicate, mild, quiet, tender, weak. However, there is nothing soft in navigating competing perspectives and cultures, handling and delivering critical feedback or dealing with office politics. Instead, I prefer to call these skills ‘smart’. Hard implies rigid, difficult, heavy, static. But how can we think of engineering or software development as static or rigid? I believe ‘sharp’ is more apt as such skills need constant updating or sharpening. 

I think it’s time to reflect on these classifications, because we can drastically change someone’s perspective by how we choose to talk about and frame something. 

How important are smart skills in leadership today?

Smart skills are more important than ever because we live in a world of extreme diversity: generational, ethical, value-based, gender, etc. Gone are the days when giving an order was an effective act of leadership. I personally work with people from five different continents and across five different generations, therefore as leaders, we need to know how to adapt, motivate, inspire and connect. We need to increase our investment in learning about them in action, especially as smart skills are more difficult to develop.

I believe that a successful leader today has to be both smart and sharp. Take cognitive readiness, one of my top 10 smart skills. In order to be cognitive ready, one has to master system dynamics, one of my top 10 sharp skills. Also, did you know that one of the primary reasons why digital transformation fails is not the absence of digital literacy, a sharp skill, but the need for more validation and adaptability, both smart skills. So, instead of thinking of these skills as binary, I prefer to think of them as the yin and yang; co-existing and complementing each other. 

So, you can teach leaders smart skills then?

Yes, you can, via a combination of the classroom experience, plus an action component supported by deeply embedded reflection. At ASB we call this Action Learning, and we teach it both in the MBA and in the executive programs. For example, in teaching a leader emotional maturity as a smart skill, first they need to learn what it is, and then act on it, before reflecting on what we did and how we did it. And then to repeat it, but this time with more expertise and awareness. It’s not easy, but that’s why my favourite mantra is ‘the job is easy, the people are not’. 

Discover Professor Padurean's successful skills for a digital transformation here


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