THU 23 NOV 2017


Entrepreneurs here hoping to become the next Jack Ma can soon learn the secrets of doing well in e-commerce through a course offered by a business school run by the Chinese Internet mogul's company Alibaba.

The Alibaba Business College plans to roll out a digital e-commerce course in countries under China's Belt and Road Initiative to link China with Asia, Africa and Europe through routes over land and sea, and will launch the course first in Singapore.

The college yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with NTUC's Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) and LearningHub along with the Nanyang Intenrational Business College.

The Alibaba school, set up in Hangzhou, China, in 2008, will train and certify e-commerce talents in the region.

Mr Nick Zhou, South-east Asia  Programme director of the Alibaba Business College, said the programme will consist of four master-classes over 12 full days and target about 150 people.

"Everyone wants to become Jack Ma. But we want to help more Singaporeans focus on their own (success) story, not just Jack Ma's story", he said.

Mr Kwek Kok Kwong, chief executive officer of NTUC LearningHub, said: "Singapore is one of the most connected nations in the world, so it makes a lot of sense for us to explore e-commerce."

The two business colleges, Alibaba and Nanyang International will provide the trainers and curriculum, while e2i and the LearningHub will run the programmes in their Singapore centres.

Ms Vicky Wong Yoke Woon, deputy CEO of e2i's industry business group, said details such as cost and venue are not confirmed as the programme is still being planned. But the aim is to start classes in January next year.

Among other things, participants will learn about e-commerce business models and platforms, online retailing and digital marketing. At the end of the course, participants will get certification from the Alibaba college.

The public can sign up according to their needs and competency, said e2i, and skip some introductory courses that they do not need.

The MOU was signed at the Internet Thinkers' Conference, a one-day forum at the The Arts House that brought together around 200 practitioners who study and shape the Internet.

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