The China Startup Pulse

Unraveling Digital Ads: The Cash Cow for Alibaba, with Donna Li, Digital Advertising Veteran

Episode Summary

Today we talk with Donna Li, a digital marketing veteran, who was part of the team that launched Alimama, the digital advertisement division of Alibaba, which is also the largest player by revenue in the digital advertising space in China. In this episode, Donna will bring us back to the early days when Alibaba, as an e-commerce company, started to explore the advertising revenue model. Donna will talk about how she worked for Yahoo China, which then became a strategic investor in Alibaba, and how she helped built Alimama. She will also share how she supported Taobao, a C2C e-commerce player, to beat their direct competitor eachnet which at the time had over 90% market share and was owned by eBay. At the end of the conversation, she will talk about the advertisement model in social networks as former CMO of Renren, the largest copycat of Facebook in China, and one of the most influential social networks at that time. Want to learn how Alibaba became successful through advertisement and is Amazon today following a similar playbook? Come join us to enjoy the conversation right now!

Episode Notes

Today we talk with Donna Li, a digital marketing veteran, who was part of the team that launched Alimama, the digital advertisement division of Alibaba, which is also the largest player by revenue in the digital advertising space in China. 

Show Notes:

02:06 Introducing Donna Li

03:25 How did you get started in digital marketing in China

06:06 Digital marketing in China at around 2010

10:15 Transition from Yahoo to Alibaba

13:12 Advertising: Taobao’s monetization model

18:26 Alimama: Cash Cow for Alibaba

22:15 Is Amazon following a similar playbook?

25:50 New inventor: Bytedance

29:55 Advertisement as a business model for early-stage startups

34:10 Build digital measurement currency at Nielsen

35:42 Challenges for startups

Many thanks to our guest Donna Li; host Oscar Ramos; producers Eva Shi and Sagar Chaudhary; editor David; organizer Chinaccelerator; and sponsor People Squared. Be sure to check out our website www.chinaccelerator.com

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