Last week, Alibaba sealed several deals with regional postal carriers including Singapore Post and Australia Post.
Alibaba is already carving out a chunk of Silicon Valley and it might not be long before it has a sizeable portion of the US e-commerce market, too. Now Alibaba appears to be ramping up its interest across Asia-Pacific with several key agreements.
Firstly, Alibaba appeared to seal a deal for a minority stake in Singapore Post for around US$249 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. The agreement will allow the two businesses to work together on a joint fulfilment venture, specifically designed for e-commerce in the region. The deal is also well-timed as Alibaba seeks to expand its main online marketplace offering, Taobao into markets with large ethnic Chinese populations.
That announcement was made on Wednesday last week, but was quickly followed by another, this one being of potentially more interest as it hits even closer to home.
Following on from its deal to purchase a stake in Singapore Post, Alibaba has also forged two new agreements with Australia Post. The first of these allows local businesses to sell via Tmall.com more easily, while the other is a consumer-driven initiative that will see Alipay gift cards from Australia Post to use via Tmall.com and Taobao alike.
While the agreement will certain allow local businesses easier access to the Chinese online retail market, this push from Alibaba falls more in line with its drive to seek out sources of new traffic for Tmall.com and Taobao. In the end, local retailers may find even more of their customer base is looking offshore for new products or better prices.
However, that’s not the attitude Australia Post has taken on the matter, with an unnamed spokesperson stating that the organisation is unequivocally committed to helping small and medium businesses grow online and access new markets.
“Through a range of innovative ecommerce partnerships with international postal organisations, ecommerce marketplaces and global businesses operating in the Asia Pacific region, Australia Post is opening doors for Australian small business around the globe,” the spokesperson said. “Local businesses can tap into the growing demand for authentic Australian products in Asia.”