Alibaba celebrate 20th anniversary with new values

By Sasha Fedorenko September 10, 2019 - 3:51 pm

A company has to have a mission beyond making a just profit. A company has to have a belief that they’re trying to do something that’s really a higher calling.” is the values that have been driving the success of Alibaba, in the words of Joe Tsai, executive vice chairman of Alibaba

Alibaba Group’s values, the fundamental beliefs upon which the company’s business and behaviours are based, were created when the tiny Hangzhou upstart was still just a startup. Management knew early on that they and their growing staff needed more motivation for running a business than making money.

The past two decades saw those values changing to suit a fast-moving company, but an ethos of purpose has always remained. Now, they’re getting updated again as the company turns 20 years old.

Alibaba say they aim to keep pace with the many rapid changes happening as the marketplace ecosystem continues to go global, entering new markets and new businesses – and inviting new employees to join. There are about 100,000 staff worldwide.

The previous six values were customers first, trust, integrity, teamwork, embrace change and passion. The first of those – “customers first” – is being carried forward, while the sentiment behind some of the others is as well. What follows are explanations of the new values, with explanations and anecdotes from Alibaba leaders.

Customer first

“Understanding and addressing the needs and pain points of our customers is our most important responsibility. Only by creating sustained customer value can our employees grow and shareholders achieve long-term benefit.”


“Trust is precious and must be constantly nurtured and protected. We want our Aliren to continue to be straightforward, standing up for the right values and relying on one another via trust.”

Embracing the change

“The world is changing even if we are not. Embracing change, either by changing oneself or fostering change in the company, is a unique part of our DNA and must be valued.”

Today’s best performance is tomorrow’s baseline

“This onward-and-upward approach has helped Alibaba survive our most challenging moments and thrive when we are ahead. Alibaba spirit means we need to constantly challenge and motivate ourselves and strive to exceed normal parameters.”

If not now, when? If not me, who?

“This was a tagline in Alibaba’s very first job advertisement. It’s still how we want our employees to view themselves as owners of the business. This gives them a sense of purpose and drive.”

Work happily, Live seriously

“Work is for now, but life is forever. We want our employees to treat life seriously when they work and enjoy work as one enjoys life. We respect the work-life balance decisions of every individual.”

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Alibaba is China’s biggest online commerce company that offers consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and business-to-business sales.

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