According to a report in the South China Morning Post Chinese online retailing giant Alibaba is ramping up its operations in Australia and New Zealand, with plans to open an office in Melbourne later this year. (The newspaper itself is owned by Alibaba.)
The SCMP said the move had been announced by following a four-city roadshow by company president Michael Evans in the two countries. “Alibaba … estimated that there are a total of 1,300 Australian brands already found on [Alibaba’ Tmall and Tmall Global [web sites],” SCMP said.
It quoted Evans saying “A stronger presence [in Australia and New Zealand] will advance our global goal of serving two billion consumers, while supporting tens of millions of small businesses, brands and retailers across the world.”
In April, Alibaba signed a MoU with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to support the sale of New Zealand products in China.
Alibaba said at the time: “The MoU aims to broaden Alibaba’s existing partnership with NZTE and is a significant step in establishing a closer cooperation to promote trade and online commerce between China and New Zealand.”
The two agreed to explore different collaboration opportunities, including Alibaba providing support for New Zealand companies to enter the Chinese consumer market through its various e-commerce channels, while NZTE promised to assist local companies to understand and optimise the opportunities Alibaba’s ecosystem offers in terms of business growth in China.
The announcement said NZTE would work closely with New Zealand companies to promote local specialties and fresh produce in China. “With New Zealand’s reputation for producing exceptional quality fresh food including dairy, meat, seafood, fruit and wine, there are significant opportunities for this sector as Chinese consumers increasingly demand high quality fresh products.”