Salesforce to shut HK office amidst strengthening of ties with Alibaba

Salesforce to shut HK office amidst strengthening of ties with Alibaba

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Salesforce is reportedly looking to shut down its Hong Kong office as it expands its customer relationship management software in China.

In a conversation with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, Salesforce's spokesperson said the company is accelerating its strategic partnership with Alibaba, and as a result it is optimising its business structure to better serve the Greater China region. "We are opening new roles while eliminating some others. We look forward to continuing to serve our customers in Greater China and helping to drive their success," the spokesperson added. 

On the company’s job vacancy page, a check by MARKETING-INTERACTIVE saw that Salesforce is currently recruiting a product management director and a senior software engineer in Guangzhou, where its tech team is based.   

The partnership between Salesforce and Alibaba was announced as early as 2019. Alibaba was named the exclusive provider of Salesforce to customers in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, and Salesforce will become the exclusive enterprise CRM product suite sold by Alibaba.

Last year the duo also launched Salesforce Social Commerce, a headless commerce product being designed and built in China to help multinational brands grow their business in the region. It is intended to help businesses unify data across their Chinese storefronts and offer integrations with key local systems. Together with Alibaba Cloud, Salesforce wanted to offer a new, localised commerce product that will enable companies to manage and unify their first-party commerce experiences, from websites to social applications, to gain a 360 degree view of their customers.

Meanwhile, Alibaba Group has appointed Irene Lee Yun Lien and Albert Ng Kong Ping as independent directors to the company’s board effective from 4 August 2022, while its independent director Tung Chee Hwa will step down after his current term. Lee is currently the chairman of Hysan Development Company and Ng is former chairman of Ernst & Young China.

The new appointments demonstrate the company’s commitment to corporate governance excellence and diversity at the board level, it said. 

Meanwhile, Tung will not seek re-election after his current term, which will end at the company’s annual shareholding meeting to be held later this year. Tung has served as an independent director on the company’s board since September 2014.

"I am delighted to welcome Lee and Ng to the Alibaba board. The new independent board member appointments are part of Alibaba’s ongoing enhancement of our corporate governance. Lee and Ng are both respected leaders with invaluable understanding and experience in global markets including mainland China and Hong Kong. I believe Alibaba will greatly benefit from their insight, especially in light of our plans for dual-primary listing in Hong Kong to further broaden and diversify our investor base," said Daniel Zhang, chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group.

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