The Tech Behind Alibaba's 11.11 Festival Success

Data Received : 16-Nov-2018
Location : Asia

Key Take-Aways:
  • Alibaba Group has successfully leveraged its innovative technologies in cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) during the 2018 11.11 Global Shopping Festival (“Festival”), which recorded over 30billion USD in GMV. The Festival is also a super project that requires unprecedented robust and intelligent IT infrastructure to ensure everything from browsing, order, payment and logistics running securely and smoothly.
  • Below is statistics that showcases the scale and strength of our technology infrastructure supporting the Festival:
    • Over 200 global IDC (Internet Data Centers) provided the IT infrastructure support for the Festival;
    • Intelligent customer service robots handled 98% of customer inquiries, including inquiries from customers in 9 different languages including Chinese, English, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian and Bahasa Indonesian. Over 800,000 merchants on Tmall deployed intelligent customer service robots during the Festival;
    • Alibaba’s AI translation tool supports translation of texts in 21 languages to facilitate dialogue between buyers and sellers during the Festival. The tool was used in Lazada for the first time to provide instant translation from English to Thai, Vietnamese, Bahasa Indonesian and vice-versa in the online chat room;
    • Alibaba Wood, an AI video-editing tool, helped merchants create over 1 million short videos (a 20-second product promotional video made within 1 minute) for the Festival;
    • Alipay’s blockchain technology enabled the traceability of 150 million imported products from over 100 countries on Tmall’s platform, including diamonds, infant formula, beauty and healthcare products, liquor, rice and honey.
    • With 700 automated guided vehicles, or AGVs, Cainiao’s new smart warehouse, the largest robotic smart warehouse in China, has been in use for this year’s Festival. The operating efficiency of this entire warehouse is 50% higher than traditional ones.
    • Alibaba Cloud’s datacenter in Zhangbei, one of the largest green datacenters in China, was officially operating to support the Festival for the first time. Through green technologies including wind-cooling, liquid immersion cooling and co-location, the datacenter can save energy consumption as much as 70% compared to traditional ones;
    • Alibaba Cloud’s elastic computing capability has contained more than 10 million CPU cores during the Festival, which is equivalent to the capacity of 10 large datacenters, a new record set for pulse computing.
  • II.) To make the world’s largest online sales event intelligent, sustainable and secure, Alibaba has been relentlessly devoted to technology breakthroughs over the past decade. Here’s a recap of the major milestones over the past 10 years:
    • 2009: Distributed computing architecture was redesigned to handle large volume of data processing needs;
    • 2010: Capacity planning platform was introduced for intelligent resources allocation;
    • 2011: Oceanbase, a self-developed distributed database, was introduced to process transaction data;
    • 2012: Alibaba Cloud started to support Double 11 Festival;
    • 2013: Alibaba Cloud implemented multiple stress tests prior to Festival to improve on system performance;
    • 2014: Alibaba Cloud successfully tested disaster recovery system for the Festival to enhance network stability;
    • 2015: Visual image search “Pailitao” was introduced to enhance personal recommendation experience;
    • 2016: Direct outdoor air-cooling system was introduced to IDC to support the Festival;
    • 2017: Large-scale colocation technology were introduced to enhance system utilization;
    • 2018: Alibaba Cloud’s Aspara 2.0 was introduced to support even larger volume of transaction.
Alibaba Cloud's data centre in Zhangbei

Immersion cooling technology


Mr. Aaron Chiew, PR Executive,,ASIA.MSLGROUP.COM



Editor's comments:
  • The success of Alibaba can be attributed to four main aspects:
    1. to innovate and leverage on new technologies to prosper the e-commerce business
    2. to become a leader of industries through continued R & D of new technologies
    3. to adopt the culture of inclusiveness by promoting and supporting open standards and latest technological trends
    4. the success of the e-commerce business generates funds for the continued R & D
  • Alibaba started off as a company which provides consumers with software platforms for e-commerce; upon success, they now sell technologies and provide consulting services to enterprise customers and public sectors.

Technology Powering the success behind the scenes of Tmall Global Shopping Festival 11.11 2018