Alibaba Reaffirms Commitment to Driving Digital Economy Education Worldwide at Global Partner Conference

Building on its success since its inception in 2017, Alibaba’s GDT program renewed collaborations with educational institutions in Malaysia and Singapore

HANGZHOU, China, Feb. 27, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Alibaba Global Digital Talent (GDT) program last week brought together representatives of its partner educational institutions worldwide in a hybrid conference, reaffirming its commitment to driving digital economy education globally. The first GDT event of its kind since the pandemic outbreak, the conference showcased the latest learnings and achievements of the GDT program in promoting academic exchanges and talent incubation for global digital transformation and inclusive development, while also shining a spotlight on outstanding institutions, lecturers and students in the program’s network.

Open to universities and learning institutions all over the world, GDT is a flagship training program under the electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) initiative pioneered by Alibaba Group, which strives to create equitable access to cross-border trade opportunities for youth, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and women globally. It is also part of Alibaba’s talent incubation endeavor to promote inclusive development in the digital economy.

By providing educational institutions with teacher training and networking opportunities, the GDT program helps incubate the institutions’ own qualified trainers who are capable of nurturing the next generation of digital talent in their respective markets, based on a curriculum framework that covers various components of the digital economy such as New Retail, smart logistics, digital marketing, and start-up investment and financing. Its training courses leverage learnings from the development of China’s digital economy and taps into resources and best practices in the Alibaba Ecosystem. GDT also supports institutions in its network with student training and examination platforms as well as student certification.

“Human capital is key to more pervasive digitalization across industries. The Alibaba GDT program allows educational practitioners around the world to apply the underlying logic of Alibaba’s time-tested business models to their communities’ business landscape, in a way that will complement and augment local digital transformation initiatives,” said James Song, Secretary General of Alibaba’s Globalization Office and Secretary General of eWTP.

“In the past five years, the GDT initiative has cultivated 1,400 teachers and tens of thousands of students from 30 universities and training institutions around the world. We are encouraged by the local digital transformation that has arisen out of the GDT program, and hope to continue working closely with more aspirational partners to move the needle in grooming young talent for the flourishing digital economy worldwide,” added Song.

During the event, GDT signed agreements with INTI International University & Colleges from Malaysia and NTUC LearningHub Pte Ltd from Singapore, signifying an extension of GDT and the two organizations’ collaboration on local digital talent development.

The event also featured an award presentation ceremony which recognized excellent institutional partners, lecturers and students who have exemplified innovation and inclusiveness in their participation in the GDT program.

One of the institutional partners recognized was Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) from Malaysia, which won two awards for its academic excellence and social impact. Since becoming a GDT partner in 2017 – the first in Malaysia, UTAR has seen over 100 of its lecturers receiving GDT certification and close to 3,900 students benefiting from its GDT-based training. To further apply their digital knowledge from logistics to marketing acquired from the GDT program, a group of teachers and students from UTAR launched a New Village e-commerce community project named “We Care, We Act,” in which the students have identified and facilitated the online sales of over 30 local products – ranging from chicken biscuits to soy sauce – supplied by small and medium-sized companies across four Malaysian states. The initiative allows the New Village delicacies, originally available only offline, to reach consumers nationwide and even abroad.    

In the coming year, the GDT program is expected to train 400 college teachers who will, in turn, cultivate 10,000 local students worldwide. It will also continue to explore collaboration with government and educational institutions across the region to incubate digital talent as well as help revitalize the rural economy – tapping on its experience of establishing eight Digital Villages in Mexico with local schools to bring the inclusiveness of Taobao Villages[1] in China to a wider part of the world. In the near future, the GDT program is expected to resume offline training and events to optimize trainees’ learning experience.

Since its inception in 2017, the Alibaba GDT program has been introduced in Asia, Latin America, Africa as well as Oceania. Currently, the global reach of the program spans Asia-Pacific countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Mongolia and Australia; Latin American countries including Mexico, Colombia and Bolivia; African countries including Rwanda, Tunisia and Ethiopia; and Kazakhstan in Central Asia.

About Alibaba Global Digital Talent (GDT) Program

Alibaba’s GDT program is a flagship training program under the electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) initiative pioneered by Alibaba Group and is part of Alibaba’s mission to make it easy to do business anywhere. By tapping into the resources and best practices from the Alibaba Ecosystem worldwide, the initiative aims to share the positive impact of the new business paradigm of the digital economy and promote inclusive development to inspire and empower youth globally. The program’s global network, known as the Alibaba GDT Network, is open to universities and educational institutions wanting to incorporate digital economy curriculum in the education and training system and develop young entrepreneurs and digital talent. For more information about the Alibaba GDT Network, please visit

[1] In China, a Taobao Village is a cluster of rural e-tailers within an administrative village where residents got started in e-commerce spontaneously primarily with the use of Alibaba’s digital retail platform Taobao.