May 20, 2020

Alibaba to import US$200bn of foreign goods into China over next five years

Alibaba
Tmall
Daniel Zhang
International trade
2 min
Alibaba to import US$200bn of foreign goods into China over next five years
Marking its ongoing commitment to globalization, Alibaba Group has announced plans to import over US$200bn in foreign goods to China between 2019 and 2023
 
The announcement was made at the Global Import Leadership Summit at the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai, and Alibaba said that it would import goods from over 120 different countries to meet rising demand from consumers in the Chinese market.
 
"Leveraging Alibaba's innovative technology and robust ecosystem, we are committed to making global trade more inclusive and fulfilling our mission 'to make it easy to do business anywhere' in the digital era,” Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba, said in the press statement.
 
China’s middle glass is growing rapidly, with Alibaba noting in its statement that Deloitte China, the China Chamber of International Commerce, and AliResearch found in a joint report that China’s strong economic growth has massively boosted the number of people on middle to high incomes.
 
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The report added that Alibaba’s cross-border shopping platform, Tmall Global, expanded its userbase tenfold between 2014 and 2017, indicating strong customer demand for international products.
 
Alvin Liu, General Manager of Tmall Import and Export, said:
 
"As incomes are rising in China, consumers want faster access to and a wider variety of high-quality products from around the world.”
 
"Tmall is uniquely positioned to help international brands tap into the growing China market as consumers seek to upgrade their lifestyle."

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Jun 7, 2021

Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek

hoching
legend
singapore
Temasek
3 min
Singaporean Ho Ching created the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia, before leading Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund to global success

Ask Singaporeans who Ho Ching is, and the majority will answer the ‘wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’. And that’s certainly true. However, she’s also the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and one of the world’s largest investment companies.

Well, she is until October 1, 2021, as she recently announced she would be retiring following 16 years as CEO of the investment giant.

Since taking the reins in 2004, two years after joining Temasek as Executive Director, Ho has gradually transformed what was an investment firm wholly owned by Singapore’s Government into an active investor worldwide, splashing out on sectors like life sciences and tech, expanding its physical footprint with 11 offices worldwide (from London to Mumbai to San Francisco) and delivering growth of US$120 billion between 2010-2020.

Described by Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng as having taken “bold steps to open new pathways in finding the character of the organisations”, Ho is credited with building Temasek’s international portfolio, with China recently surpassing Singapore for the first time.

As global a footprint as Ho may have however, she has her feet firmly planted on Singapore soil and is committed to this tiny city-state where she was not only educated (excluding a year at Stanford) but has remained throughout her long and illustrious career – first as an engineer at the Ministry of Defence in 1976, where she met her husband, and most notably as CEO of Singapore Technologies, where she spent a decade, and where she is credited with repositioning and growing the group into the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia.

It’s little wonder Ho has featured on Forbes’ annual World’s Most Powerful Women list for the past 16 years, in 2007 as the third most powerful woman in business outside the US, and in 2020 at #30 worldwide.

But it’s not all business. Ho has a strong track record in Singapore public service, serving as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and as deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board; and is a committed philanthropist with a focus on learning difficulties and healthcare.

As the pandemic kicked off, she not only led active investments in technology and life sciences, with German COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech among the most recent additions to Temasek’s portfolio, but through the Temasek Foundation – the firm’s philanthropic arm which supports vulnerable groups close to Ho’s heart, handed out hand sanitiser and face masks.

So, you would be forgiven for thinking that at age 68, Ho might simply relax. But in March 2021, just as she announced her retirement from Temasek, Ho joined the Board of Directors of Wellcome Leap, a US-based non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to accelerating innovations in global health. Not ready to put her firmly grounded feet up yet it seems.

 

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