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Alibaba eyes Chinese talent in US

By Judy Zhu in New York | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-03-21 22:26

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba held “US Design Day 2018”, a keynote talk and meet-up event with Chinese students at New York University and Pratt Institute on Tuesday afternoon, focusing on recruiting more talents for their new retail strategy.

Keynote speakers from Alibaba Design Committee, DAMO Natural Human Computer Interaction Lab, and Alibaba Cloud Design shared their insights on Alibaba’s business culture, cases of Alibaba’s innovation, and possible future impact.

“In the next 20 years, we aim to become the world’s fifth-largest economy by serving 2 billion consumers, supporting 100 million jobs, and helping 10 million companies succeed,” Alibaba’s lead user experience designer Fan Rongqiang said during his keynote speech at New York University Stern School of Business.

“A strong driver for Alibaba’s success is the design team, and we are looking for more international talents on board,” Fan added, who has been working at Alibaba for 14 years.

According to Fan, Alibaba currently hires 60,000 employees around the globe. In Q1 2017, 33 percent of campus recruitment was from Chinese students studying abroad.

“We walk into US universities to learn more about the Chinese international students. They have expressed strong interest in booming Chinese industries and the urge to devote what they learned in the US to their home country,” said Hsiao Gainshin, chief experience architect at Alimama’s Consumer Insights and Experience Strategy Department.

“The key of internationalization is localization. The talents who joined our team have the ability to transform what they learned in other countries to benefit local customers,” Hsiao said.

Hsiao said that Alibaba’s opening positions for campus recruitment are mainly based in Hangzhou, capital of East China’s Zhejiang province.
“International students sometimes are not keeping up with the trends in Chinese markets. We are here to remind them what they should really care about while studying abroad,” said Hsiao, who studied in the US years ago.

Shi Liang, a graduate student who majored in design and technology at Parsons School of Design, said he is considering working in China after graduation in May.

“I came to learn frontier insights on user experience and product design from the Chinese leading company. In terms of my career, I want to have more working experience here in the US before I go back to China eventually,” Shi said.

“We need to keep an open mind for career training,” said Cercle Cheung, a student in arts administration at Boston University who just graduated in January.

“As the speakers said, we need to have one specialty and multiple capacities to fulfill the always-changing demands for being an international talent.”

Alibaba will also hold a meet-up event at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston on March 22.

Contact the writer at judyzhu@chinadailyusa.com

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