- Gordon Dumoulin
A glimpse in China Corporate Cultures, Alibaba mass weddings
Conglomerate giant Alibaba organizes an annual mass wedding ceremony for Alibaba employees with 102 couples getting married (although sometimes more) during their annual company ‘AliDay’ on May 10th, all expenses covered by Alibaba and personally presided by Ma Yun (Jack Ma).
Why 102 ? At the founding of Alibaba in 1999, the 18 founders vowed to build a company that could make China and the world proud crossing three centuries to last 102 years (2101).
The Alibaba corporate culture is mainly characterized by TRANSPARENCY and a sense of FAMILY UNITY. Company’s internal communications platform “Aliway” is used intensively by employees for discussions and exchanging ideas.
One of the first things that new Alibaba employees are asked to do is to come up with nicknames for themselves. Even those at the top are referred to by their nicknames, so to minimize the sense of structure and superiority.
Regarding the sense of FAMILY UNITY, apart from above mass wedding ritual , Alibaba has taken care to offer family-like support to its employees such as iHome, a mortgage fund to get interest free loans for downpayments or education and daycare facilities.