Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.com has announced that it has officially spun off Alibaba (China) Education Technology Company, informally known as "Ali-Institute", as a subsidiary company of Alibaba.com.
Through its curriculum, Ali-Institute will serve as an incubator for e-commerce talent in China, creating a pool of trained, qualified people for small and medium enterprises to recruit from to run their growing e-commerce operations. As an additional benefit, Ali-Institute is expected to help enhance the employment rate of new university graduates.
Established in September 2004, Ali-Institute has educated more than 30,000 people to date on e-commerce applications. Of the students who joined the course in 2007, more than 90% were either employed by a company or have started their own business.
According to iResearch, there was demand in China for 2.3 million e-commerce workers in 2008, but a lack of talented, experienced e-commerce executives meant that only 41% of the demand was met. Ali-Institute is designed to help close that shortfall.
David Wei, the CEO of Alibaba.com said that Ali-Institute was spun out because education is a very different business model, and would be better as a standalone company. However he added that this was a key component to supporting the growth of small businesses, so it will be very well tied in with the company's B2B activities and all the other group companies.