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PKU Guanghua “Future Leaders” Students Win the Alibaba Global E-commerce Challenge

On May 3, 2023, Alibaba International Digital Commerce Group (AIDC) announced Chuanyi Capital, a team of four students from Peking University Guanghua School of Management’s “Future Leaders” Undergraduate Program, as champions of the 2023 Alibaba Global E-commerce Challenge in Singapore. Team members Kelly Xu, Bryan Cheah, Saksham Bansal, and Michelle Feldman edged out strong competition from second and third place teams representing ESADE Business School and National University of Singapore.

Team “Chuanyi Capital” received the award from the judges

Another team from Guanghua called Visionaries—invited to the finals after winning the East Asian regional competition—was selected as the winner of the “Customer and Market Centric” Category Prize. The team included students Markus Hanssler, Dominik Fink, Melissa Rosenberg, and Diane Roux.

Alibaba’s Global E-commerce Challenge—which required students to devise market entry strategies for Alibaba company AliExpress in response to multiple competition prompts—attracted participation from almost 3500 people representing 141 premier universities across 59 countries and regions.

AIDC’s Chief People Officer Lilian Jiang described finalists’ proposals as “insightful and innovative.” Chuanyi Capital developed a gamified market entry solution for South Africa called “AliWorld” that incorporated local pop culture and leveraged the country’s favorable regulatory environment and high mobile penetration. They cited advice from Qiaowei SHEN, Professor of Marketing as invaluable for refining their recommendations after the regional competition and cited her guidance as a key factor in their ultimate success.

Team “Visionaries” won the Category Prize

Visionaries focused on opportunities for AliExpress’s fashion category in Mexico and created a strategy incorporating KOLs, billboard campaigns, and a partnership with a local retail chain. Their proposal addressed multiple different supply chain considerations, including transportation of goods from China, placement of sorting facilities, and distribution goods within Mexico’s market.

Chuanyi Capital was awarded prizes valued at up to RMB50,000, and AIDC will offer internships to select competitors. All nine finalist teams, including both Chuanyi Capital and Visionaries, received travel to Singapore, tours of Alibaba-affiliated facilities in Singapore, opportunities to engage with and receive feedback from senior company executives, and a deeper understanding of a thriving e-commerce business. As Visionaries’team members explained, “it was enriching to learn about the true functioning of an affordable e-commerce company and realize the level of detail involved in their decision-making.”

Two teams visited Lazada office in Singapore

Both Chuanyi Capital and Visionaries comprised students from Guanghua’s “Future Leaders” International Undergraduate Degree Program, which brings top undergraduate students from around the world to Beijing to live and study together as a single cohort for two years at Peking University. Chuanyi Capital participants described the Alibaba Global E-commerce Challenge as “a life-changing experience that formed long-lasting friendships and challenged our personal potential.” Similarly, Guanghua founded the “Future Leaders” program as a platform for a diverse group of individuals to learn about China, exchange ideas, challenge each other, and engender lasting friendships.