Ma created an e-commerce website of more than 700 million users between the SARS pandemic even though he and his 500 Alibaba employees were quarantined: When the crisis doesn’t think it’s an opportunity, find out what people need and meet them.

Tram Ho

While the Covid-19 epidemic is spreading dizziness around the world, causing severe damage to the economy and global business operations. There is a story reminiscent of the rise of Alibaba amid the 2003 SARS pandemic. This story shows how the retail industry can adapt to the worst market conditions.

Many people still remember that more than 8,000 people were infected with SARS in 2003 and nearly 800 were killed. Schools, factories and shops all have to close, many cities in China suddenly turn into “ghost cities” because people don’t dare to go out.

Jack Ma tạo ra website TMĐT hơn 700 triệu người dùng giữa đại dịch SARS dù bản thân và 500 nhân viên Alibaba bị cách ly: Khi khủng hoảng đừng nghĩ đó là cơ hội, hãy tìm xem mọi người cần gì và đáp ứng cho họ - Ảnh 1.

At present, although the death rate due to Covid-19 is much lower than that of SARS, the number of Covid-19 cases has been many times higher than that of SARS and continues to increase.

But, there are always opportunities in crisis. This statement is especially true for billionaire Jack Ma and the Alibaba empire.

At the time, Alibaba was only four years old and they were focusing on B2B e-commerce, business to business. Alibaba acts as an intermediary connecting American business customers with Chinese suppliers.

That year, Canton Fair in Guangzhou with 1 female employee of Alibaba also participated. After returning from the fair, she continued to work normally and after a few days she developed a fever and was diagnosed with SARS. She was immediately taken to the hospital and became the No. 4 SARS patient in Hangzhou.

As a rule, because the female employee went to the company to work for a few days before being found sick, all Alibaba employees, including Jack Ma, were required to be isolated at home for 12 days. Unable to do anything, Jack Ma and more than 500 employees were forced to work from home.

Fortunately for Alibaba, the media department responded promptly, leaving the information out and the press reported that an internet company in Hangzhou had staff infected with SARS. That makes Alibaba’s reputation not much affected.

At that time, many countries around the world issued warnings about traveling to China, so the demand for online shopping on Alibaba’s platform increased sharply. Starting in March 2003, Alibaba’s B2B segment had 4,000 new members and 9,000 listings every day, a 3-5 times increase over the period before the SARS outbreak.

Chinese suppliers have no choice but to invest more in online marketing on Alibaba’s platform. Alibaba’s business grew by 50% that year, and its daily revenue reached 10 million yuan.

Witnessing the success of the B2B platform model, the most breakthrough step for Jack Ma and Alibaba at the time was the introduction of the e-commerce site Taobao. Ma’s idea at the time was to create a personal retail e-commerce platform because he was acutely aware that online retailing would become what people needed, and Alibaba needed to create a product. products meet that need.

At that time, eBay had been operating in China for some time and everyone believed that Alibaba could not fight the American giant.

But ignore all those words, Jack ghost has secretly discussed with 6 others about the launch of a new product.

In addition to the quarantined employees, an Alibaba Research and Development team worked separately. And so, in June 2003, Taobao was born, so Jack Ma raised a glass of wine and sent congratulations on his debut day at home.

Since then, Taobao has boomed to become the world’s leading e-commerce site with over 700 million users as of the end of December, up from 693 million at the end of September 2019. The total value of goods traded via this website in 2017 amounted to $ 428 billion.

Talking about the challenge of overcoming the SARS pandemic in 2003, Jack Ma did not think that it was both a challenge and an opportunity. His view was: “In the SARS period, nobody thought this was an opportunity, but to think about the problems people are facing and how we can help people.”

That was the idea that helped him set up Taobao and bring it to success.

At the same time, anyone who owns a business is going through a particularly difficult time due to the effects of the Covid-19 epidemic. Ma’s advice is that people need to find a new direction and change the current things. “Think about what you really want, what you have and what you need to give up or keep.”

Share the news now

Source : Genk