Our Model

Alibaba has a unique governance model. To understand our system of corporate governance, it is important to understand the role of our Mission that guides us, our Vision that brings focus to our strategy, and our Partnership System that plays an active role in key decisions in the areas of leadership succession, human capital management, business ethics and social responsibility.

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The Role of Mission and Vision

We believe a company must be mission driven in order to achieve sustainability.

The belief in our mission – to make it easy to do business anywhere – is the foundational logic underlying our business decisions. We believe that we do not create value if we do not solve the problems of society, and if we do not create value for our customers, then the company will not be able to generate any revenue, much less profits, from customers.

The Role of the Alibaba Partnership

The Alibaba Partnership is at the heart of our company culture and identity.

Currently comprised of 36 senior management leaders who oversee the various aspects of the Alibaba Digital Economy, the Partnership has had a clear purpose since it was formed in 2010: to sustain the culture of the founders of Alibaba to ensure that we stay on course in defining and executing our mission, vision and values.

How We Select Partners

The continuous cultivation and annual selection of new partners is the vehicle for us to identify talented individuals who exemplify our culture and embody the required leadership traits we look for in managing our business. New partner candidates are selected on the criteria of

  • personal character;
  • impact on our business;
  • demonstrated ability to live and evangelize our culture; and
  • at least five years' tenure of service to the Alibaba Digital Economy.
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Ethics and Social Responsibility

The Alibaba Partnership is the steward of our company's conscience. Partners are expected to not only conduct themselves with integrity but also to set the tone at the top and monitor the ethical conduct of all our employees.

Partners are also expected to make personal contribution of time and financial resources to solving social problems that require long-term investment.

Ensuring Sustainability

The collective decision-making process of the Partnership ensures that matters that come up for decision have been carefully debated and deliberated, and that no single individual controls key Partnership decisions (unlike dual-class voting structures). This includes exercising the partners' right to nominate a majority of our board. We believe our Partnership system ensures robust human capital management and maintains a continuously invigorated management team.

The Role of the Board & its Committees

Our board is responsible for the long-term success of the company through nominating independent directors, selecting the chairman and chief executive officer, monitoring strategy and management execution, setting senior management compensation, and providing oversight to the company's financial reporting, internal control systems, business conduct and code of ethics.

Strong Internal Controls

Our Integrity Compliance Department has the power to conduct investigations of any suspected non-compliance with the law or our Code of Ethics, and has authority over all directors, officers and employees. We conduct mandatory annual training to help prevent violations, and we are transparent about violations that have occurred.

Minimal Revenues and Assets in VIEs

We believe that we have structured our VIEs to be best-in-class from the point of view of financial integrity, economic participation, asset security and control over free cash flow of the business. The vast majority of our assets (92%), revenues (87%) and cash flow (95%) belong to our wholly owned entities of which we have sole legal title and control.

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