(Yicai Global) Dec. 7 -- China's internet monolith Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. [NYSE:BABA] has recently expanded its presence in Guangzhou in southeastern Guangdong province, the largest city in southern China.
From Wednesday, its residents can ride by scanning a QR code provided by Alipay, Alibaba's online payment arm.
Ant Financial Services Group, a subsidiary of Alibaba Group, signed a strategic cooperation agreement on Dec. 6, with Guangzhou's local smart technology developer CI-Suntek Technology Co. [SHA:600728] and Guangzhou's transport commission to provide such services as e-payment and Internet Plus for Guangzhou's public transport sector.
Guangzhou residents can pay with Alipay when taking public transit by scanning a QR code. Users may still ride by paying later if mobile phone signals are poor or if they have insufficient funds left on Alipay.
Alibaba Group is also collaborating with such local Guangzhou traditional enterprises as Guangzhou Pearl River Piano Group Co. [SHE:002678] and Guangzhou Zhujiang Brewery Group Co. [SHE:002461]. Zhujiang Brewery and Alibaba Cloud (Aliyun), Alibaba's cloud computing arm, will jointly build an integrated Online to Offline (O2O) marketing system, while Pearl River Piano will work with Alibaba Cloud to build a cloud platform for music education. Pearl River Piano is the largest piano maker in the world.
Beer products are heavy with high logistics cost, Wang Zhibin, general manager of Zhujiang Brewery, told Yicai Global. It is difficult to develop them through traditional e-commerce channels. "We need to integrate online and offline, and by combining online transactions and offline distribution we can solve the problem of high logistics cost.
Zhujiang Brewery's O2O marketing system will be integrated with the company's information system and intelligent manufacturing system to supply users' personalized needs, Wang added. "In future we can provide various flavors of beer according to consumer needs," he told Yicai Global.
Though pianos are a traditional product, after integrating them with new information technology, students can learn to play them via the internet, where they can also interact with pianists, said Li Jianning, chairman of Pearl River Piano. Users can also readily find a tuner on the company's piano aftermarket platform, while pianists can easily get musical scores.
"We don't want to destroy the traditional business entirely. Enterprises should not fear technology, they should embrace it," said Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. [NYSE:BABA], at the 2017 Fortune Global Forum held in Guangzhou on Dec. 6.