Alibaba, the world’s leading online bazaar, is home to an enormous number of China’s Internet talents. But what is it like working for this tech giant? AllChinaTech looked through Zhihu, China’s Quora, and job review websites to get a glimpse of the work lives of Alibaba’s staff.

The biggest company in Asia

Alibaba Group’s market value in September last year topped Asian companies. Its Q4 2016 revenue reached USD 7,669 million, according to the company’s latest fiscal report.

The tech giant’s business mainly consists of four parts: core commerce, cloud computing, digital media and entertainment, and innovation initiatives. Mobile monthly active users (MAUs) on its retail marketplaces reached a whopping number of 493 million in December last year.

More than 656 million Chinese citizens log into the Internet with their cell phones, according to a report released in August last year by China National Network Information Centre. That means that three-fourths of Chinese mobile Internet users buy or sell things on Alibaba’s online commerce platforms.

Overtime work

For a company as big as Alibaba, workload can greatly vary among departments. For most Chinese consumers, the company is known for its e-commerce platforms Taobao and Tmall.

“It depends on which department you are in. People working for Tmall normally work a 995 schedule (meaning from 9 am to 9 pm, five days a week),” wrote Shang Mingyang, a former software engineer intern at Alibaba, on Zhihu.

Huang Haikun, a programmer at the company wrote, “In Alibaba, people say that working overtime is right, not working overtime is also right. However, not meeting project deadlines is also not right.”

Salary

Alibaba staff normally receive more payment than people from other industries or peers in smaller internet companies. It offers a monthly average income of RMB 10,730 (USD 1,555), according to Chinese job review website Kanzhun.com. In comparison, the national’s average salary in 2016 was at RMB 7,018.

Screenshot from Kanzhun.com

Working environment

Located in the picturesque eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, Alibaba’s headquarters is known for its natural green environment.

alibaba campus
Alibaba’s Hangzhou campus. Photo from Baidu Images

Aside from natural environment, Alibaba’s open-minded working atmosphere is also appealing to its employees as well.

“In Alibaba, if you want to find someone, just put his or her name onto the company’s internal website. You can get in touch with that person within seconds,” wrote Huang Haikun on Zhihu.

Jiang Chunsheng, an Alibaba technology manager, commented that the company respects individuality and values equality. Only management personnels who are ranked higher than directors will have their own offices.

(Top photo from Baidu Images)

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Heather Wang
Heather is a contributor at ACT. She is passionate about literature, photography and technology. She graduated from Shanghai University of International Business and Economics with a Master's Degree.

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