Ten awards at Alibaba GDT Network Conference 2023

It was an incredible feat for both the lecturers and students of UTAR when they secured 10 awards at the 2023 Alibaba GDT Network Conference. The hybrid conference, which was held on 21 February 2023 under the Alibaba Global Digital Talent (GDT) programme, featured an award presentation ceremony which recognised excellent institutional partners, lecturers and students who have exemplified innovation and inclusiveness in their participation in the GDT programme.



Ewtp Digital Capacity Building Director of Alibaba Group Eve Xia announcing UTAR as the winner of “The Academic Excellence Award” (top) and “The Most Social Impact Award” (bottom)

One of the institutional partners recognised was UTAR, which won “The Academic Excellence Award” and “The Most Social Impact Award” under the Institution Awards category.

As for the GDT Lecturers Awards category, Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) academic Dr Wong Whee Yen, Faculty of Business and Finance (FBF) academic Chin Yoon Mei and Faculty of Accountancy and Management (FAM) academic Dr Seah Choon Sen won “The Best Mentor” award; LKC FES academic Ts Dr Lee Jer Vui won “The Most Creative Lecturer” award; FAM academic Ezatul Emilia binti Muhammad Arif and FBF academic Tan Min Khen won “The Teaching Achievement Award”, and finally Dr Wong and Chin won “The Special Contribution Award”.



Alibaba GDT Senior Trainer Zhou Yong announcing the winners of “GDT Lecturers Awards”

Under the GDT Student Teams Award category, Team Cringe Worthy from LKC FES, Team Sue Jun Hong from LKC FES, Team Go Wash+ from FAM and Team Cology from FBF walked away with “The Best Social Impact Award”. Team Modern Hera from LKC FES and Team Ding Pei Yee from FBF took home The Best Sustainability Award”. “The Best Innovation Award” was given to Team Modern Hera from LKC FES and Team Colour Diary from FAM. Last but not least, “The Best Cooperation Model Award” was given to Team Cringe Worthy from LKC FES, Team Bites of Love from LKC FES, Team iBilik.com from FAM and Team Meah Chee Yong from FAM.



GDT Programme Leader Cathy announcing the winners of “GDT Student Teams Award”

LKC FES Software Engineering student Pang Chong Xian from Team Cringe Worthy was also invited to share his entrepreneurial journey at the conference. Pang shared that he first created his Lazada merchant account to sell household supplies and pest control products when he took up the “UECS2233 Electronic Commerce” course at UTAR. Pang also proudly shared that his online business recorded a steady increase in sales revenue since he started the business in 2019. The total revenue for the year 2020 was RM29,376.64; RM129,876.80 for the year 2021 and RM135,919.16 for the year 2022. Pang also mentioned that he is involved in two other entrepreneurial projects called the “Fashionpreneur” and the “Ottermate”, both registered under the Unovate Centre of UTAR.

Pang enthused, “I took part in the Alibaba Global E-Commerce Talent (GET) programme, which is now called the Alibaba Global Digital Talent (GDT), in the year 2019. It was an eye-opening experience for me. The programme enabled me to be equipped with the skillsets required in the entrepreneurship world and it taught me how the ecosystem worked in the current market. Most importantly, it gave me an opportunity to start my first business.”


Pang explaining his products

Software Engineering student Koo Boon Sing’s final year project (FYP), which involved the UTAR New Village Project—Kicap Cap Tangan Bentong, also received recognition from Alibaba globally and was shortlisted to be featured at the Alibaba Museum.


Dr Wong (most right) sharing her GDT journey during the panel discussion

The conference concluded with a panel discussion and Dr Wong was invited to share her GDT journey at the session. Dr Wong commented, “It was an honour to represent UTAR at the sharing session. I hope we can encourage and motivate more lecturers and students to participate in the Alibaba GDT programme.”

She added, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the faculties for their contributions and commitment to the Alibaba GDT programme; especially for the continuous support from the respective faculty representatives, namely Pn Ezatul from FAM, Mr Lau Kan Foo from FCI, Ms Chin Yoon Mei from FBF, and Mr Lim Jit Theam from FICT.”

UTAR has seen over 100 of its lecturers receive GDT certification and close to 3,900 students benefit from its GDT-based training since becoming a GDT partner (the first in Malaysia) in 2017. To apply their digital knowledge gained from the GDT programme, a group of UTAR lecturers and students teamed up to carry out a project under the New Village e-commerce community project called “We Care, We Act,” initiated by the UTAR Department of Soft Skills Competency (DSSC). In this project, the students have identified and facilitated the online sales of over 30 local products, from chicken biscuits to soy sauce, supplied by small and medium-sized businesses from four Malaysian states. The initiative allowed New Village delicacies, which were previously only available offline, to reach consumers nationwide and even internationally.


Dr Wong (second from right) at the UTAR New Village exhibition booth

UTAR congratulates the academics and students for their wonderful achievements at the 2023 Alibaba GDT Network Conference.

Alibaba GDT Programme is a flagship training programme under the electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) initiative pioneered by Alibaba Group. The programme is open to universities and learning institutions all over the world. It aims to create equitable access to cross-border trade opportunities for youth, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and women around the world. It is also part of Alibaba’s effort to promote inclusive development in the digital economy through talent incubation.

For more information about the Alibaba GDT Network, please visit https://gdt.alibaba.com/

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