Alibaba's international e-commerce division is utilizing generative AI tools to assist cross-border traders with translation, content generation, and product returns, according to Kaifu Zhang, the group's vice-president. Zhang, who leads the AI initiative at Alibaba International Digital Commerce, expressed his optimism about AI's prospects for the company during his speech at the Reuters Next Conference in Singapore, despite the escalating tensions between China and the US.

Zhang emphasized that China is at par with the US in AI innovation rates and noted significant advancements in open-source AI technology in China and Europe. Alibaba, a major tech conglomerate, has been focusing on enhancing the competitiveness of its global marketplaces such as AliExpress and Lazada, following the restructuring of its international e-commerce unit into an independent business.

The initial advantages have diminished over time, with sales and growth now surpassed by competitors Shein and PDD's Temu. Zhang revealed that Alibaba International Digital Commerce Group currently serves 300 million consumers annually and supports over one million merchants worldwide. This unit has emerged as one of Alibaba's most promising growth sectors, with earnings increasing by 44 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the previous year.