Thursday, 12 September 2019 04:18

Alibaba says company values strengthen business for digital era

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Chinese tech behemoth Alibaba has announced a refresh of its core values which it says strengthen the company’s culture for navigating through the “fast-changing” digital era.

In the second refresh of company values in the past 20 years announced on Wednesday, Alibaba says the values have to evolve to remain relevant to its global workforce.

“Alibaba values are at the heart of its people management process, from hiring to remuneration to promotion. Especially at the company’s current size, a clear set of values is important for enabling employees across different businesses, functions and geographies to act in concert and stay on course towards achieving Alibaba’s vision and mission,” Alibaba says.

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Alibaba’s updated values and the company’s stated rationale behind them are:

1. Customers first, employees second, shareholders third

Understanding and addressing the needs and pain points of our customers is our most- important responsibility. Only by creating sustained customer value can our employees grow and shareholders achieve long-term benefit.

2. Trust makes everything simple

Trust is precious and must be constantly nurtured and protected. We want our Aliren to continue to be straightforward, standing up for the right values and relying on one another via trust.

3. Change is the only constant

The world is changing even if we are not. Embracing change, either by changing oneself or fostering change in the company, is a unique part of our DNA and must be valued.

4. Today’s best performance is tomorrow’s baseline

This onward-and-upward approach has helped Alibaba survive our most challenging moments and thrive when we are ahead. Alibaba spirit means we need to constantly challenge and motivate ourselves and strive to exceed normal parameters.

5. If not now, when? If not me, who?

This was a tagline in Alibaba’s very first job advertisement. It’s still how we want our employees to view themselves as owners of the business. This gives them a sense of purpose and drive.

6. Live seriously, work happily

Work is for now, but life is forever. We want our employees to treat life seriously when they work and enjoy work as one enjoys life. We respect the work-life balance decisions of every individual.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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