May 20, 2020

Alibaba’s Cainiao teams up with air-freight company Volga-Dnepr

International trade
2 min
Alibaba’s Cainiao teams up with air-freight company Volga-Dnepr

Alibaba’s logistics subsidiary Cainiao Smart Logistics has announced a new partnership with Russian air-freight firm Volga-Dnepr Group

Reported by Alibaba’s news site, Alizila, the partnership will facilitate cross-border shipping as well as enhancing the fast-paced delivery services in line with increased consumer demand.

According to Alizila, Volga-Dnepr will enable Cainiao to access its 41-strong airplane fleet and extensive network while Cainiao names the firm as its preferred airlift capacity and logistics services carrier.

“We are delighted that Volga-Dnepr Group becomes our strategic partner to beef up air freight capability of our global smart logistics network, enabling merchants and brands – especially small and medium enterprises – to access more efficient cross-border logistics services,” said James Zhao, Cainiao Global General Manager, according to Alizila.

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Tatyana Arslanova, VP of Strategic Management at Volga-Dnepr, added:

“The future of air freight is in the e-commerce sector with customers becoming more tech-savvy, internet-driven and demanding in terms of delivery.”
“The key to success of winning this lucrative market lies in the ability provide fast, fully digitalized and transparent services with the support of reliable partners, such as Cainiao Network.”

The partnership will see both firms working to develop a more efficient shipping network across Asia, Europe, and Russia by leveraging their respective logistics assets and prowess.

Alibaba has been ramping up its efforts to facilitate easier cross-border trading in recent months, announcing in November that it will import US$200bn of foreign goods to China by the end of 2023, as well as unveiling plans this month to launch an ecommerce hub in Belgium to assist SMEs with international sales.

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Jun 7, 2021

Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of 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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