Alibaba's secret three-year experiment to reinvent the factory

China's largest corporation unveiled in September its first smart factory. PHOTO: AFP
New: Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

HANGZHOU (BLOOMBERG) - After helping more than a million brick-and-mortar Chinese retailers modernize their operations, Alibaba has now set its sights on a new target: the country's outdated factories.

China's largest corporation unveiled in September its first smart factory, a secret experiment that Alibaba's been conducting for three years on the outskirts of its hometown of Hangzhou. The three-story facility known as Xunxi - translated literally as "fast rhino" - is the company's attempt at leveraging its consumer data and technologies to help the multi-trillion-dollar manufacturing arena improving efficiency and meet rising consumer expectations.

Already a subscriber? 

Read the full story and more at $9.90/month

Get exclusive reports and insights with more than 500 subscriber-only articles every month

Unlock these benefits

  • All subscriber-only content on ST app and

  • Easy access any time via ST app on 1 mobile device

  • E-paper with 2-week archive so you won't miss out on content that matters to you

Follow ST on LinkedIn and stay updated on the latest career news, insights and more.