NYP and Taobao University offer cross-border e-commerce
Published on 30 Nov 2016

Singapore, 30 November 2016 Local companies who want to get a slice of the online business pie can now tap on insights from Taobao University, the e-commerce education arm of the Alibaba Group, operator of the world’s largest marketplaces. Led by a team of top-notch e-commerce training specialists, Taobao University is dedicated to equipping business executives across job functions and industries with practical and up-to-date e-commerce knowhow and skills to help them master the development of their online business.

Taobao University today signed a collaboration agreement with Singapore’s leading retail training institution – Nanyang Polytechnic’s Singapore Institute of Retail Studies, or NYP-SIRS. This opens up a plethora of Taobao University’s e-commerce training programmes to retailers here. The curriculum of the programmes will range from basics such as opening and operating online stores on the Alibaba Group’s e-commerce platforms, to more advanced topics such as how overseas brands can succeed in China’s e-commerce market and how retailers can utilise Alibaba’s offerings to better engage consumers. In the 12 months ended September 30, 2016, the Alibaba Group’s China retail marketplaces had 439 million annual active buyers, many of whom are interested in purchasing high-quality products from overseas retailers.


To ready local retailers for e-commerce opportunities from the Alibaba Group’s platforms, Taobao University’s programmes for various levels – from C-suite to operations executives – will be localised. Programmes will be conducted in Mandarin and English by a joint faculty comprising experts from both institutions. NYP-SIRS will contextualise the programmes with local insights and market characteristics, while retaining the expertise and experience of Taobao University.

Mr Lewis Liu, Vice President of Training College of Taobao University, said, “Over the years, Taobao University has been focused on cultivating e-commerce talent in China together with our partners. We are excited to work with NYP-SIRS to extend our education offerings to Singapore businesses. We believe our experience in China’s online retail market coupled with NYP-SIRS’ deep understanding of the local retail industry’s needs will open up more opportunities for Singapore companies to access the Chinese consumer market.”

Some companies that joined the one-off International CEO Programme co-organised by NYP-SIRS and Taobao University in May 2016 are already seeing positive returns. Some gained access to consumers on Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms, while others observed marked improvements to their e-commerce channels.

These are indicators of how the sector will benefit, notes Ms Jeanne Liew, Principal and CEO of Nanyang Polytechnic. She said, “Nanyang Polytechnic is relentless in providing future-facing training for our students and industry. By working with Alibaba’s Taobao University, we aim to change and elevate the e-commerce landscape in Singapore.”

Besides building capabilities in companies to take advantage of the e-commerce boom, manpower is also being groomed for the future retail landscape. This means that students in the WSQ Specialist Diploma in Retail Management programme, offered by NYP-SIRS, will take Taobao University modules so that they can keep up with retail trends.

New articulation pathway to deepen skills in retail management

In a new agreement, NYP-SIRS and SIM University (UniSIM) will also offer a new articulation pathway for participants of the SkillsFuture Earn & Learn Programme (ELP) in Retail Management to deepen their skills and industry-based knowledge. Students who graduate with a WSQ Specialist Diploma in Retail Management will enjoy credit recognition for some courses in UniSIM’s Bachelor of Science in Marketing programme. As a result, they may complete their degree in a shorter period of time.


Professor Tsui Kai Chong, Provost, UniSIM, said, “We are happy to partner NYP-SIRS in offering graduates with a WSQ Specialist Diploma in Retail Management the opportunity to obtain a degree with UniSIM. Under the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme, these graduates would have acquired both the required work experience and academic grounding that are prerequisites to a UniSIM degree. This collaboration with NYP is part of UniSIM’s ongoing ELP partnerships with polytechnics under SkillsFuture.”

Ms Megan Ong, Director of NYP’s SIRS, said, “The retail landscape is characterised by rapid and disruptive changes. Retailers have to embrace new concepts and innovation to succeed. Training programmes must constantly update & evolve to ensure that students and the workforce remain relevant and employable. NYP’s SIRS meets these challenges by working with best-of-class partners like leading e-commerce giant Alibaba and tertiary institution UniSIM to build a community of enabled and future-ready retailers.”