After helping more than a million brick-and-mortar Chinese retailers modernize their operations, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has now set its sights on a new target: the country’s outdated factories.

China’s largest corporation unveiled in September its first smart factory, a secret experiment that Alibaba has been conducting for three years on the outskirts of its hometown of Hangzhou.

The three-story facility known as Xunxi — translated literally as "fast rhino” — is the company’s attempt at leveraging its consumer data and technologies to help the multi-trillion-dollar manufacturing arena improve efficiency and meet rising consumer expectations.