Transparency system.


Maria Delucas

Alibaba is failing ethically and showing distrust in their social responsibility of implementing a transparency system. Alibaba has caused distrust and problems between suppliers and consumers. Alibaba “offered no system that showed how good a supplier was, it was difficult for positive evaluated suppliers” to receive credit. Many consumers found themselves having to purchase by an impulse having a big responsibility to account for their decisions to their supervisors.  It caused an inconsistency for businesses to perform daily manufacture duties when they had unreliable suppliers. Alibaba offered a platform for Chinese suppliers to connect with clients across the border making it fast and easy. Alibaba does not have any warehouses nor is involved in the distribution channels; it just provides the platform.

Alibaba knew the requirements of what western companies were asking and they failed to ethically inform suppliers. Information was hinder away causing for future problems that could have been prevented. In order to continue help small business Alibaba should bring attention to start-up suppliers on receiving certifications and making labels that could signal international standards to their customers. Alibaba has the social responsibility to bring attention to suppliers on improving quality and working conditions will satisfying consumers. Alibaba preferred to receive profit from offering a membership services that provided information about suppliers if they were minor trader or a leading manufacture. However, the information had to be interpreted by someone who knew the data, but it was hard since ordinary western startups and small sized companies were the ones using this information. However, the verification did not verify labor standards of the business nor the quality of goods by the seller. It becomes a problem when Alibaba is ethically aware of this situation. 

While insurances are seen as bad and against Chinese culture it brings a reality check of how Alibaba is conducting business. While it interferes with their culture it becomes a reliable source for other global businesses. If they want to have freedom on conducting business by themselves, they can to regulate and help smaller business to project correct information. There should be more steps to protect consumers from fraud suppliers. Since there is no verification process in place to verity the quality is good or the environmental operating standard or working conditions are up to code. There should be regulations to protect children exploitation. In children are going to be working Ma should make a program that can potentially improve working conditions.  This can an alternative if children have to support family and need to work. There will be at least regulations to protect them. Alibaba needs a more transparency with quality of supplied products. 

I believe all companies have responsibilities; especially extremely successful businesses. Many smaller businesses look up at big corporations’ strategic models. It doesn’t matter how much power or money a company has it should always be held accountable for their actions and decisions. They should perform business decisions by following laws and regulations; while acting ethically right. I do believe there is a thing of being too successful and being too profitable since big corporations such as google, and Microsoft can get out of controversy topics because of their success. 

Benjamin Feldpausch

The main ethical issue that Ma is facing, is the idea of being able to align Chinese values on the one hand with Western Principals, but also with the aims of NGO’s on the other hand. Without being able to balance this, there could be many misunderstandings, little tolerance and less respect throughout the issue. Because of this, Ma and Alibaba have duties to satisfy their Chinese values and morales throughout the company, while being able to properly satisfy both employees and consumers. This can be extremely difficult to do with the constant battles between the U.S. and China with trade recently. As most know, the U.S. is making it much harder for China to do international business with them, and implementing more regulations. On top of this, Chinese retail is slowing as a result of their market maturing. All of these issues are affecting Ma and Alibaba. Ma feels that the Chinese perspective on adapting to western values is misunderstood. The values in the West are drastically different than to those of the Chinese, but to Ma, is was extremely important to contribute his part for finding a way to align the different perspectives, but doing so without losing the Chinese norms and values. With these thoughts in mind, Ma has to be careful with his decisions on how to approach the issues and situation, since the Chinese Government and economy will be closely watching him.

One way I think Ma could help to integrate both values, would be using external suppliers. This would be able to help establish a solid client base, while still being able to tailor their work and products towards the market they are reaching. Being able to partner or do business with Alibaba, many companies would be able to generate additional income and increase the standards and conditions of their company. Aliabab would be able to do business based off of their values, and make sure their partners or suppliers would still be willing to do business while following these values, but still being open to integrating theirs. A main approach they could make to make this happen, would be to put the customer first and integrate lots of teamwork while embracing change throughout the company. They can do all this while maintaining integrity, passion, and commitment to what they do. Being able to express all these values would show a great mix between Chinese values and the western values. This does bring forth more responsibilities within their company however. Unlike most companies who tailor their work to the values of the market they are reaching, Alibaba is now taking on two totally different sets of values. This brings on the responsibilities of multiple markets and being able to provide the wants and needs of many different consumers. 



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