Alibaba has quietly announced that it will open an Australian office later this year, with the company looking to expand its reach across the APAC region.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is preparing to open an Australian office in late 2016. According to the company, the office will have a team dedicated to support local operations in Australia and New Zealand and work more closely with local merchants and partners in the region.
The announcement came last week as the company hosted a delegation of more than 200 business delegates from over 190 Australian companies, as well as officials from the Australian Trade Commission, at its campus in Hangzhou, to explore collaboration and partnership opportunities between Alibaba and Australian businesses.
At this event, Joe Tsai, Vice Chairman of Alibaba Group, said: “Globalisation is a core strategy for Alibaba Group and it will be for the decades to come. As one of our key markets, Australia clearly plays a key part in this strategy. With the services and the … user base that Alibaba has to offer, we are well positioned to further expand our collaborations with businesses from around the world.”
“Australia is well-known as the origin of high-quality organic goods, such as baby and maternity products, health and nutrition, and fresh foods. These categories are among our top-selling international product categories, and are sought-after by many consumers in China. We are ￼￼￼￼￼committed to work with Australian merchants to continuously expand the range of product selection to better serve the needs of Chinese consumers,” said Maggie Zhou, Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand at Alibaba.
Australia ranked as the fifth top-selling country into China during last year’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, which generated US$14.3 billion in gross merchandise volume (GMV) in 24 hours.
A number of high-profile Australian brands are already selling over Alibaba’s platforms, including Woolworths, Adore Beauty, Nature’s Way and Chemist Warehouse. Late last year, Australia Post partnered with Alibaba enabling Australian online retailers to sell wholesale into the Chinese market.
“We see a lot of potential in the Australian market as Alibaba continues its globalisation efforts,” said an Alibaba spokesperson.
“We aim to have to have dedicated country operations to work closely with Australians merchants and partners and it is our plan to establish an office in Australia in late 2016 to better help local brands and merchants to access the Chinese consumer market.”
Alibaba is clearly focused on further expanding into the Asia-Pacific region. This week, company founder Jack Ma met with the New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key. The company signed a memorandum of understanding with the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), the New Zealand Government’s international business development agency, to formalise discussions for strengthening trade between China and New Zealand and support the growth of New Zealand brands in China.
Earlier this month, the company also took a US$1 billion stake in Lazada, one of the largest e-commerce platforms in the region, thereby expanding its reach across Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.