Alibaba expands global reach to Melbourne

The Chinese ecommerce giant said it will introduce both its popular online marketplaces and payment businesses with the opening of an office in Melbourne, Australia by the end of 2016.
Written by Cyrus Lee, Contributor

Chinese ecommerce conglomerate Alibaba Group will open its first local office in Melbourne, Australia by the end of the year, in a way to further push forward its globalisation strategy, according to a recent Sina news report.

Regarding Australia an important hub in the group's globalisation effort, Alibaba's global president Michael Evans said it will build up its ecommerce businesses in Australia in both ways, including exporting Australian goods to foreign markets and importing goods to the country.

Alibaba has launched an online wholesale platform for Australian products in China, which sells various popular Australian goods among Chinese consumers such as milk powder, honey, wine, and health supplements.

Australian supermarket chains Woolworths and healthcare brand Blackmores have landed on Alibaba's Tmall Global online site which sells and mail its products from Australia to local Chinese consumers directly.

Alibaba will also introduce its popular e-payment tool Alipay into the country, according to Evans.

Data from Tourism Australia shows that the number of Chinese travellers to Australia broke 1 million mark to reach 1.02 million last year, up 21.9 percent from the previous year. Alipay has successfully launched in many favourite tourism destinations such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea.

Alibaba currently has eight employees in Australia. The management team that overlooks its Australian business segment has been appointed, the Sina report said. Evans believes that the expansion of Alibaba's business in the country will also help boost digital entertainment, tourism and logistics developments between China and Australia.

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, said earlier that the company seeks to become the equivalent of the world's fifth-richest country by 2020, after the United States, China, the European Union, and Japan, and vows to earn over half its revenues coming from countries and economies outside China by 2036.

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