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Alibaba Launches “Smart Living” Division

Alibaba has its hands in just about every industry a consumer could think of — entertainment, payments, commerce, retail, finance, technology. The list could go on.

What’s next for the rapidly-growing eCommerce giant? Cars and a new division called “smart living,” Reuters reported Friday (April 10). Its new initiatives align Alibaba to remain competitive in the Chinese tech scene of companies looking to bring the Internet of Things concept into all of its products — with everything ranging from home goods, televisions, appliances and even cars that will be hyper-connected to a user’s device.

Getting into the Internet of Things, big data analysis and cloud computing services has been among the major goals of Alibaba as its looks to stay afloat of trends in the ever-competitive space that has major companies like Tencent and Amazon to compete with. Reuters’ report of Alibaba’s auto business unit indicated that Alibaba planned to market the business by using its data analysis and retail information from its Tmall site to help people choose vehicles and even seek loans. Tmall has a car sales selection available for consumers to search through, but Alibaba’s new features would connect the consumers back to its own financial side. Car dealers can also rely on Alibaba to put vehicle data into its database to help market their cars.

Alibaba indicated that 50 car brands from 10,000 dealerships have jumped on board to the company’s plans. Alibaba has also brought on Chinese automaker SAIC Motor Corp as an investor to help the eCommerce company develop the future of the auto industry — Internet-connected cars.

As for its “smart living,” division, Alibaba said this will also exist on its Tmall site. The business will enable companies to add Internet capability to home products, such as electrical appliances. These products will then be sold through Alibaba’s Tmall site. Alibaba also announced it would be using its Taobao marketplace to allow business owners to raise money using a crowdfunding platform to help sell its Internet-connected goods.

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