In­dus­try gi­ants ink part­ner­ship deal

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By WANG YING in Shang­hai wang_y­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China’s e-com­merce gi­ant Alibaba Group has en­tered a strate­gic co­op­er­a­tive agree­ment with Spring Group, the par­ent com­pany of Spring Air­lines and the largest bud­get car­rier in the coun­try, to jointly ex­plore the bur­geon­ing out­bound tourism mar­ket com­prised mainly of young Chi­nese trav­el­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to the agree­ment signed on Dec 28, the two groups will co­op­er­ate on mul­ti­ple busi­ness as­pects to ex­pand their re­spec­tive client bases — Alibaba has more than 400 mil­lion ac­tive users while Spring has around 24 mil­lion — in­clud­ing air tick­ets, des­ti­na­tion busi­nesses, mem­ber­ship and con­sump­tion points ser­vices, cloud com­put­ing and big data, as well as pay­ment and credit ser­vices.

Li Shao­hua, vice pres­i­dent of Alibaba Group and the pres­i­dent of its travel book­ing plat­form Fliggy, said that the part­ner­ship with Spring Group would aid Fliggy’s am­bi­tions of hit­ting 100 mil­lion pas­sen­ger trips abroad. He also noted that as much as 83 per­cent of Fliggy’s con­sumers are those born af­ter 1985.

“The shared data will help Alibaba bet­ter un­der­stand con­sumers’ needs and en­hance ser­vices. Fliggy’s goal of serv­ing as many as 100 mil­lion pas­sen­ger trips over­seas by 2018 can­not be achieved by us alone. This is only pos­si­ble when we co­op­er­ate with part­ners like Spring Group,” said Li.

Wang Zhenghua, Spring Group chair­man, said the deal would en­able the air­line to do more pre­cise mar­ket­ing by lever­ag­ing Alibaba’s ex­ten­sive data­base.

“Pas­sen­gers aged be­tween

The shared data will help Alibaba bet­ter un­der­stand con­sumers’ needs and en­hance ser­vices.”

20 and 35 are the ma­jor source of Spring Air­lines’ clients and this is the rea­son why 85 per­cent of the Shang­hai-based car­rier’s di­rect air ticket sales comes from its web­site and smart phone ap­pli­ca­tion,” ex­plained Wang.

This is not the first time Spring Group has co­op­er­ated with Alibaba. A work­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two com­pa­nies was fos­tered nearly a decade ago when Spring be­came the first in the tourism and avi­a­tion in­dus­tries to al­low its cus­tomers to make pay­ment via Alibaba’s Ali­pay plat­form.

Spring Group first started out as a do­mes­tic travel agency in 1981 be­fore launch­ing Spring Air­lines in 2004. To date, the group has di­ver­si­fied its busi­ness into tourism, avi­a­tion, ho­tel, ex­hi­bi­tion, tick­et­ing ser­vices, sports events, city sight­see­ing bus ser­vices and fi­nan­cial leas­ing.

“It is nat­u­ral that these two com­pa­nies are co­op­er­at­ing. Alibaba is al­ways look­ing to at­tract cor­po­ra­tions to tap into their big data and their ex­per­tise in in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy will greatly en­hance the ser­vice, op­er­a­tion man­age­ment and cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence of Spring,” said Li Lei, an in­dus­trial an­a­lyst with Minzu Se­cu­ri­ties.

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