Open sesame: China’s Alibaba to let students in Hong Kong intern at its exclusive Hangzhou HQ for up to a year

PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 February, 2016, 2:20pm
UPDATED : Friday, 19 February, 2016, 2:40pm

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has provided further details on its internship programme that promises students in Hong Kong the chance to work at its headquarters in Hangzhou, in east China’s Zhejiang province, for up to a year.

As part of the Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund, students at local universities can apply for internships in engineering, website design, product development and human resources that are designed to give them a taste of e-commerce and the Chinese market.

“Through this internship programme, Hong Kong students will have the chance to learn the latest industrial practices in e-commerce, mobile payment, cloud computing and cross-border logistics in China by working at Alibaba Group or companies in the Alibaba ecosystem,” said Cindy Chow, chief executive director of the fund.

The internships, which are expected to start in early June, run for six months but can be extended to double this. Students will be able to work in either Hangzhou or Alibaba’s office in Guangzhou, in southern Guangdong province.

Applications are open to students in the third or fourth year of their degree courses as well as those studying masters programmes or at tertiary education institutes in Hong Kong.

During the internship, the fund will provide a living and housing allowance alongside mentoring.

Joseph Yuen, chairman of the Hong Kong Federation of E-Commerce, which was established last year to boost the city’s online retail sector, said the internship programme from one of the leading players was a positive move.

But local students can also look beyond the Chinese market, he added.“Youngsters should keep their eyes wide open not only to the recent boom from China’s domestic online market, but also how they can benefit themselves from being Hong Kong people facing China or even the global market.”

Yuen said e-commerce was moving rapidly and that young people in the city should equip themselves with the skills to help businesses from Europe, India, Southeast Asia and Russia enter China.

The HK$1 billion (US$128.6 million ) Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund was announced by the company in November.

It will also provide funding for start-ups in the city as a means for local people to access capital and build their businesses on the mainland through the internet giant’s platforms.

In January, Chow said the fund had shortlisted more than 10 Hong Kong-based start-ups and that it was looking to invest across a broad range of industries. Applications are open until March 11.