Asia-Pacific Power List 2020: Chris Tung, Alibaba

Presiding over the largest sales festival on earth, Tung has helped to keep Alibaba's brand unassailable in an industry that changes by the day.
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers

Chris Tung

Chief marketing officer
Returning member

Alibaba, easily the largest online retailer in China, is very hard to ignore. Yet despite its enormous scale and influence over so many brands and even the economy itself, the internet giant has managed to avoid the levels of negative news and criticism unenjoyed by its Western peers. Chris Tung, as the chief marketing officer, works hard to keep Alibaba's brand awareness high and in a positive light.

Of course, it helps when your company becomes one of the world's leaders in fighting COVID-19, putting everything from its logistics channels to AI diagnosis technology to work, offering medical supply donations, merchant relief and more anti-pandemic initiatives than one can count, both within China and globally. 

One of his more recent attempts has been Alibaba's first-ever partnership with Olympic Summer Games (if they're actually held in Tokyo next year) following past sponsorships of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Tung joined Alibaba as chief marketing officer in January 2016 and as a believer of cross-platform marketing, his mission has been to use the rich consumer data to not only power its own marketing strategy, but that of also thousands of other brands on Tmall, helped by the Alimama martech platform.

But it's in running sales festivals, including arguably the world's largest marketing event—China's Single's Day—where Tung's influence shines through, as Alibaba uses the power of other brands to build up his own. Under his watch, Alibaba has also launched the Taobao Maker Festival. And while sales may be harder to achieve in 2020, the company has managed to maintain its massive GMV levels in the June 18 annual promotions that just passed.  Much of that is thanks to Alibaba's adapting to the new norm of online streaming, partnering with brands and bloggers.

Prior to his current position, Tung was the CEO at digital agency VML China after serving as PepsiCo China's marketing VP. Before that, he worked at Proctor & Gamble, Gigamedia and L’Oréal.

Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers


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