Alibaba chief technology officer will be speaking next month in Seattle, the latest public sign of the Chinese e-commerce company’s interest in establishing itself in Amazon’s backyard.
The address by Dr. Jian Wang will take place Dec. 5 at the Washington State China Relations Council’s 2014 Annual Banquet, an event that marks the 35th anniversary of the group.
Fresh off its blockbuster IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, Alibaba has opened an engineering office in downtown Seattle — boosting its efforts to recruit talent from Amazon, Microsoft and others in the region.
A Microsoft veteran, Wang is no stranger to the Seattle area, but in an interview with GeekWire earlier this year, he said he was struck by the how the Seattle tech market has evolved in the time since he left the Redmond company.
“I can feel the energy of all the small startups here. It’s much more energetic than what I saw,” he said at the time. “This is in the north part of the coast, and San Francisco is in the south. Just like Beijing and Hangzhou. I believe that people here have a different perspective than people in Silicon Valley.”
The Dec. 5 Washington State China Relations Council event will also feature John Culver, Starbucks group president for China and the Asia Pacific region.