Alibaba’s delivery arm has returned to pre-coronavirus staffing levels as China’s largest retailers begin to rebuild their operations after months of disruption.
Cainiao, Ele.me and grocery chain Freshippo, all owned by Alibaba, have returned to “full capabilities” marking a dramatic turnaround from last month.
In February, its chief executive Daniel Zhang warned that the outbreak had severely impacted its operations and sales figures, warning that Alibaba’s retail platforms including Tmall and Taoboa, which account for well over half of its total revenues, were set to shrink in the coming quarter.
Now Alibaba and other major retailers like JD.com, which last week forecast growth of 10 per cent in the current quarter, are seeing workers previously confined to their homes return to work allowing ecommerce and logistics operations to operate at full strength.
Business owners around the world will be watching China closely for clues on how to deal with the fallout from the outbreak of COVID-19 and what wider effects the crisis will have on global economies.
Chinese firms are now ramping up production as the number of new infections begins to drop, providing respite for many global sellers who depend on Chinese manufacturing to produce their goods.
Despite this, many multinational corporations swiftly shifted their operations away from China to limit their exposure, which alongside the vast amounts of business and consumer incomes lost during the outbreak will mean manufacturing demand will remain weak in China for some time.
Around 60 per cent of the China’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have now resumed operations, while 95 per cent of large businesses were back up and running and 80 per cent of the workforce has returned to work.