(From left) Dato’ Seri Lee Kah Choon, Mr. Eric Zhang, Head of Operation at Alibaba.com, YAB Chow Kon Yeow, Chief Minister of Penang, Mr. Chan Kee Siak, CEO&Founder of Exabytes and Mr. Mohd Imran, Assistant Director of Matrade (Northern region).

It marked a new era of eCommerce when a revolutionary union of two key players in the cloud industry captures the attention of Southeast Asia business owners and entrepreneurs. As of last Thursday (25 April 2019), Exabytes is officially the channel partner of China’s eCommerce giant, Alibaba.com.

Ribbon cutting of the launch ceremony announcing Exabytes as an Alibaba.com official channel partner
The arrival of YAB Chow Kon Yeow, Chief Minister of Penang, at the event.

The launching ceremony was held at The Light Hotel, Seberang Jaya Penang. Officiated by the Penang Chief Minister, Yang Amat Berhormat Chow Kon Yeow, accompanied by Eric Zhang, Head of Operations, Alibaba.com, Malaysia and Chan Kee Siak, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Exabytes Network. Chow explained that SMEs contributed 37% of Malaysia’s gross domestic product in 2017 and employed two-thirds of the country’s workforce need to keep up with the latest technological developments to stay competitive.

YAB Chow Kon Yeow, Chief Minister of Penang, was sharing a few words at this event.

“This collaboration will revolutionize what business is all about. It will help expose the local SME to tap into millions of potential customers worldwide to discover new sales and opportunities,” he said.

“In the new state government initiative, we aim for SMEs to adopt digitization 4.0 in their business approach. So, SMEs are all encouraged to innovate and make the most out of the technology out there, especially with the 5G era coming in 2021.”

The Founder & CEO of Exabytes Network, Chan Kee Siak also explained that this collaboration is to open a door for those who seek global market footprint.

Mr. Chan Kee Siak, Founder & CEO of Exabytes was sharing a few words at this event.

“The mission is simple: We want to make it easy for everyone to run their business, anywhere. This revolutionizes how we do cross border trade. Going global isn’t just for large enterprises. Our team plans to carry out various programs including organizing workshops to share knowledge about global e-commerce trends and we’ll invite local SMEs to attend,” Chan said.

Malaysia Country Manager of Alibaba.com, Joey Zhu also stated that the growing volume and potential of cross-border trade for SMEs makes this partnership very valuable to the local business traders in the Northern region.

“It not only helps them tap into newer markets but also takes away some of the pain of digitizing their business. Our partnership with Exabytes will help us better serve the needs of local SMEs and businesses as they accelerate and excel in cross border e-commerce,” Zhu explained.

Mr. Steven Zheng, Alibaba Business School certified lecturer and Successful Chinese Supplier at Alibaba.com

In the event, Steven Zheng, the Certified Lecturer from Alibaba Business School & a successful supplier from Alibaba.com shared some wonderful insights on eCommerce Thinking and Traffic Logic.

“When it comes to eCommerce, it’s not just about creating a website. It’s how we can showcase our products perfectly – and this is what the world means by the digitization,” Steven shared.

He also encouraged SMEs to compile and showcase complete product information whenever they are dipping into the eCommerce pool.

“Getting a good rating & credible business front is always your choice. You decide how you want to present your business and you take the right course of action. The platform will then feature the preferred products from top-positive sellers, and in return, you will gain a higher chance of receiving enquiries from your customers,” he added.

Later on, in the panel discussion, the panel speakers namely Adrian Yong (Sales Director, TRL Southeast Asia), Mohd Nordin (Chairman of Koperasi Usahawan Groom Big Perlis), Chan Kee Siak and Steven Zheng discussed on the potential of eCommerce trade.

One of the questions highlighted received many insights from the panel experts: What can do we to close the gaps in the eCommerce system?

Chan shared that in the next 5 years, more B2B will disrupt. And many SMEs have not taken the first step to embark is because of one simple thing — fear.

“Through the help from Alibaba & Exabytes, all of us must continue to learn how to grow.”

Steven also added that many SMEs fear because they are unfamiliar with the new technologies that are replacing the traditional ecosystem.

“I believe fear is coming from the unknown. We need to forget about fear and trust the professionals to manage it. The ecosystem, tools, and expert guides are there to help us. Learn to trust the ecosystem, and business owners can focus on how to provide better services to the customers.”, he shared.

At the end of the day, the attendees not only walked home with a new set of knowledge and inspiration to kickstart what they have been feared of doing all these while. But also a golden opportunity to step into the world of new eCommerce era and truly be a digitized brand.