At the beginning of 2020, the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba was facing its biggest challenge yet with the dire economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the company's core business was in need of help. What happened next can serve as a lesson for the e-commerce industry as a whole. Several of Alibaba's business units bucked the downward trend were able to leverage circumstances to their advantage. They managed to continue to support the SMEs who are the lifeblood of the platform and in turn help Alibaba weather the storm. The case provides insight into the power and resilience of an ecosystem business model in a time of crisis.
Virtual Class Co. Ltd: After the crisis is before the crisis
Beijing-based Virtual Class Co. Ltd is an e-learning platform developer which provides solutions for students from primary school through to high school. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the company has invested heavily in customized e-learning solutions for schools and provided services free-of-charge with the hope of strengthening its customer base. However, the Beijing Municipal government announced that all the schools in the Beijing area were recommended to use a standardized official e-learning platform run by the government. Shocked at the news, Peter Wang, the CEO of the company, needs to find a response for his company in order to survive this latest crisis.