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China Digital Digest Weekly: Exploring the Chinese Digital Landscape

Hi folks, we are back with our weekly edition of China’s Digital Digest, wherein we bring you weekly updates on China’s digital space. The report takes a quick glance at China’s complex and rapidly evolving social media landscape by providing updates on the latest happenings across the social media industry. Here are the major highlights of the report.


1. Alibaba Veteran to Step Down At Local Services Group Amid Restructuring



The head of Alibaba Group Holding’s Local Services Group (LSG), one of the e-commerce giant’s six business units, is stepping down amid an ongoing restructuring process.



Yu Yongfu, who was appointed to lead LSG after Alibaba announced its restructuring last March, will exit the unit – which includes delivery business Ele.me and mapping service Amap – at the end of March, according to a statement by Alibaba. Yu will pass on his chairman and chief executive roles to a younger group of managers, with Wu Zeming stepping up at Ele.me and Liu Zhenfei taking up the senior roles at Amap. The 47-year-old Yu will remain as a partner at Alibaba. The statement did not elaborate on whether or who will take on the senior roles at LSG.


2. Alibaba Chairman Joe Tsai Says E-Commerce Giant is Set to Bounce Back



Alibaba Group Holding is set for a comeback after several years of rising competition and macroeconomic pressures, according to the company’s co-founder and chairman Joe Tsai, who is backing the Chinese e-commerce giant to bounce back.



Alibaba is “a lot more confident” about its position as one of China’s top e-commerce players as it undergoes a restructuring process with new management in place, Tsai told US media outlet CNBC in a report. Tsai said that in recent years Alibaba had not done as well as previously in “delivering performance” for reasons including competition, economic headwinds, the regulatory environment, and rising geopolitical tensions. But it “comes down to” how well Alibaba competes and how well it serves its customers, and those are the areas the company is trying to improve through the restructuring, said Tsai.


3. ByteDance Is Actively Developing Multiple AI Products



Chinese media Jiemian has learned from multiple sources that ByteDance is actively engaged in the secret development of various products in the field of AI large models. These products include multimodal digital human offerings, as well as AI-generated image and video solutions.



A source revealed that they witnessed a demonstration of ByteDance’s multimodal digital human product late last year. Moreover, ByteDance’s video editing platform, CapCut, established a secluded team several months ago to discreetly work on AI projects. Currently, this team remains in a highly confidential phase, with their developed products yet to be released. A knowledgeable individual close to ByteDance noted that founder Zhang Yiming dedicated a significant portion of his focus last year to AI endeavors, underscoring the company’s commitment to AI initiatives.


4. Alibaba Has Developed An AI-Generated Video Model “EMO”



After the United States’ OpenAI launched Sora to ignite the internet, Chinese internet technology giant Alibaba Group Holding Limited is now stepping up its efforts to catch up. Alibaba Group Holding Limited‘s Intelligent Computing Research Institute recently launched a new AI image-audio-video model technology EMO, officially referred to as an expressive audio-driven portrait video generation framework.



It is reported that you only need to provide a photo and an audio file, EMO can generate AI videos that can speak and sing, as well as seamlessly integrate dynamic short videos, with a maximum length of about 1 minute and 30 seconds. The expressions are very accurate, any voice, any speed, and any image can be matched one by one.


5. Alibaba Cloud Announces the Largest Price Reduction in History



On February 29th, Alibaba Cloud announced that the prices of its core products have been comprehensively reduced, covering over 100 products and more than 500 product specifications. The average price reduction reached 20%, with some even as high as 55%. This includes areas such as computing, storage, databases, etc., and the new pricing system took effect immediately. 



This price reduction is not only a bold strategy for Alibaba Cloud to continue leading the cloud business battlefield, but it may also trigger an unprecedented price war in the field of cloud computing. Earlier, Alibaba Group Holding Limited canceled its plan to spin off and list Alibaba Cloud. This decision surprised investors who were hoping to invest in this key business area, causing Alibaba‘s stock price in Hong Kong to temporarily drop by 2.5%.


Wrapping Up

The vast and diverse nature of the Chinese Social Media space makes it incredibly challenging to keep a tab on the rapid developments taking place. However, China’s Digital Digest brings you all the latest updates from there to keep you abreast of all the evolving trends.


To delve deeper into the findings of our latest report, click here.


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