Chinese ecommerce company Alibaba is about to open offices in Europe, in an attempt to attract more sellers to the platform. The ecommerce player wants to be the ‘gateway to China’ for merchants from Europe and wants to achieve this by opening offices in Italy, France and Germany.
Michael Evens, who was appointed president of Alibaba Group two months ago, tells the Financial Times in the past, only multinationals could afford to sell their merchandise internationally, but now much has changed. And Alibaba wants to be at the front of this transformation. It wants the world to sell to China and China to sell to the world.
Just before Singles’ Day
Within the next few months, so-called ’embassies’ in Italy, France and Germany should be opened. It seems like a good timing, as it’s just only a month away from Singles’ Day, the busiest shopping promotion in China. On November 11, also called the anti-Valentine’s day, customers buy something for themselves rather than for a partner. According to chief executive Daniel Zhang, Alibaba will promote the sale of products from other countries to their Chinese consumers as part of these popular shopping day. Last year, Alibaba’s marketplaces generated a revenue of 7.4 billion euros on this day, an absolute record.
More products from more foreign sellers, could be interesting for the country’s rising middle class. Projections are that this group will grow from 300 million to 500 million in the next decade. “And the middle class consumer wants authentic, high-quality international products”, Evans says.
From exporting to importing
Founder and chairman Jack Ma thinks China should shift from exporting to importing. “This is a huge change for China. And it’s an opportunity not only for China, but it’s also an opportunity for the world.”