[Event Recap] 3 insights in 3 minutes – fireside chat with Kevin LIU, Alibaba France

Event Recap

In 3 insights in 3 minutes, we summarize the 3 most critical pieces of information that were shared during one of our fireside chat. 

Today is the summary of our “Fitting into a new market : lessons from Alibaba’s startup-like expansion in France” event with Kevin LIU that took place on the 27 of May 2020.



今天回顾2020年5月27日和Kevin LIU的对话

Be focused and find your strengths. 善用长板,专注自身优势

    • In this highly competitive market, even a tech giant such as Alibaba has to start its international business from scratch and operate like a startup in the European market to remain agile and competitive.

      Companies should identify, focus and prioritize a specific sector and leverage the company strengths in order to convince local clients. Devoting all resources on that specific objective allows for a quick win rather than a slow moving comprehensive strategy. Strengths and sectors are indeed dependent on the company.



When Change is the only constant, be flexible and adaptable.


Entering a new market as a tech company is complicated. Not only is the technical and innovation rapidly changing but the business culture is also different. Leading companies into foreign markets is always a complex challenge.

However, when change is the only constant, embrace it, be flexible and adaptive and play on your strengths. For example, Chinese tech companies are very agile and can integrate and iterate very quickly. This should not only be applied from a technical but also cultural standpoint.

In addition, companies should test and review their strategies (from both a strategic/product and cultural angle) constantly to stay on track and deliver high performances. 





Advices for companies who wish to enter another market



  • Start from scratch: Your past success does not imply future success. Be humble, reflective and adaptative, every market is different with its own set of challenges. 
  • Do business in a local way: You cannot rely only on your own business experience: local partners and resources are critical. Onboard people that understand the new market.
  • Move!: You cannot let ideas just be ideas, execute quickly and be proactive.


  • 从零开始:保持谦逊并快速适应新的变化与挑战,过去的成功并不代表未来在中国市场的成功。每个市场都有其特殊性。
  • 善用国内资源:以中国的商业方式分析问题、处理问题。吸引人才并加深对当地市场的理解。
  • 不要让创新只停留在想法层面:专注于企业自身执行力。用前瞻性思维在这个高度竞争的市场中占有一席之地


Thanks for your time reading! If you would like to go deeper and listen to the full session, we will start releasing them in podcast form, so stay tuned!


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