We went inside Alibaba’s global headquarters | CNBC Reports


I’ve come to Alibaba’s global headquarters,
it’s about a one-hour train ride from Shanghai, let’s go inside and explore. There’s an unmanned
vehicle coming right at me. Here at the Chinese tech giant’s
campus in Hangzhou, China, I’m exploring Alibaba’s corporate culture to
see first-hand how it’s embedding technology into just about everything
you can imagine. There are a lot of
vending machines here. Alibaba is one of China’s
tech success stories. In 2014, its listing on the New York Stock Exchange
became the biggest Initial Public Offering in history. Today, it has a market capitalization of more than
$400 billion and around 100,000 staff globally. It’s about 12.30 in the afternoon
so it’s the peak of lunch time. And Alibaba’s founder, Jack Ma, has
become a known-figure around the world. Alibaba started as an e-commerce
platform 20 years ago, but now it has more than 30 business
units that span from fintech to film. It boasts six campuses around Hangzhou,
with many more offices across China and around the world,
including Silicon Valley. I’ve come to its main headquarters, called XiXi
Campus, home to Alibaba’s corporate office, as well as its major e-commerce brands
Tmall, Taobao, and AliExpress. 20,000 people work here. Next to the campus is a shopping mall, where
Alibaba is piloting various retail technologies. It even recently opened its own hotel, where it’s testing
out robot butlers and facial recognition door access. To get into the main campus, employees
have the option of using facial recognition. It’s really quite interesting how seamless this
facial recognition technology is for employees, especially if you have your hands full,
well it could definitely come in handy. All around campus, you
have bikes like this that are available for employees to
get around from point A to Point B. There are no locks, they’re just ready
and available for use here on campus. I’m gonna take
one for a ride. Employees here on campus
can order groceries on an app and then have it delivered to their
building via this unmanned vehicle. This is all part of Alibaba’s plans to develop
its artificial intelligence technologies, which will be rolled out
in its self-driving cars. Last year, it announced
unmanned vehicle trials, joining the likes of fellow Chinese
conglomerates Baidu and Tencent. Employee orientation here at
Alibaba is a solid two weeks. During that two weeks, new
hires will do different activities, different challenges and really
get to know the company. And for newbies who stay loyal
to the company, a gift awaits. This wall behind me shows what employees get when
they hit a certain mark for staying with the company. So if you’ve been at Alibaba
for one year, you get a pin. At three years, you get a pendant,
and then at five years, you get a ring. And now it’s time for lunch. You’ve got a lot
of food options. You have dumplings, fried dumplings, casserole dishes,
duck soup with noodles, Cantonese-style roasted meat, a lot of different styles of Chinese food
and I do see an Italian station as well. The camera actually recognizes
every dish that I picked, and then automatically assigns a price,
gives me a total, and then you pay. Employees here get a set amount of money per
week that they can use toward the cafeteria and that pretty much should cover
lunch and dinner comfortably. The cafeteria opens once
again at 9pm for snacks. So if you are working late, you’re covered,
you’ve got yogurt, muffins, things like that. After lunch, I tour some of the areas where
Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms are based. The company claims it has 674 million active
annual users visiting its retail marketplaces in China. Alibaba’s total retail sales are expected
to surpass $1 trillion this year. But while sales are growing, smaller retailers
are chipping away at its market dominance. In 2016, it made up nearly 70% of
e-commerce space in China. This year, it’ll make
up just over half. Many places on campus have
different timelines like this which are a homage to the history of
different business units of Alibaba. Employees here have access to the gym
where you see some Alibaba branding. You also see the T-Mall
logo looking quite athletic. This is Alibaba’s giftshop where you have a lot of
different mascots for every different business unit. Some of Alibaba’s businesses
are famous for their mascots. There’s this cat for Tmall, this hippo for
Freshippo, its new retail grocery store, and a pig for Fliggy, which is
Alibaba’s online travel platform. I just arrived at the bookstore where you have a lot of
books, a lot of leadership books, books about Jack Ma. It’s also a coffee
shop as well. Jack Ma is a big fan of
Chinese martial arts so all of the conference rooms here on campus
are named after different places in books. Every May 10th, that’s 510 has
become what’s known as Ali Day, and it’s now known as
employee appreciation day. 102 couples are invited to come on
Ali Day and celebrate their wedding and Jack Ma imparts knowledge
and wisdom as part of this day. Now why, 102? Well, because Jack Ma once said that this
company needs to last at least 102 years because that would mean it
spanned three generations. I’m ending my tour at
Alibaba’s museum. Inside the museum, you will see a history of the
company and then you will also fast forward to today and learn about some of the new
business units that have been created. Just outside of the Alibaba museum, you have
this massive wall with many different icons, Alibaba says the wall is meant to
recognize and salute game changers who have made a positive
impact on the world. They are kind of subtle, kind of hidden, so
I’m going to see if we can find who’s on here. I found Steve Jobs right here. Mark Zuckerberg. Sergey Brin and Larry Page, founders of
Google, which is now called Alphabet. Warren Buffett. And perhaps unsurprisingly,
I find Jack Ma. Hey guys, it’s Uptin.
Thanks for watching. Check out more of our
Alibaba videos and let us know in the comments what you thought
of the campus here in Hangzhou, China. While you’re at it, subscribe to our
channel and we’ll see you next time.

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