Alibaba takes Singles' Day to global buyers, sellers

Updated: 2016-10-21 07:09

By Meng Jing(China Daily)

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Alibaba takes Singles' Day to global buyers, sellers

The launch ceremony of Alibaba's Nov 11 shopping festival in Hong Kong, Oct 20, 2016. [Photo provided to China Daily]

China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is taking a step forward toward its goal of "buy global and sell global" by helping overseas merchants to sell to consumers outside the Chinese mainland during its upcoming Nov 11 shopping festival.

For the first time in history, hundreds of overseas brands on Alibaba's Tmall platform will be able to sell directly to online shoppers in Hong Kong and Taiwan, a move that is seen by Alibaba as testing the waters as it strives to achieve its ambitious goal of serving 2 billion consumers in 20 years.

Daniel Zhang, chief executive officer of Alibaba Group, said at an event in Hong Kong on Thursday, that globalization is one of the top priorities of the company.

"During the Nov 11 shopping festival last year, we brought overseas brands to online shoppers in the mainland. This year, we hope to help more brands enter new markets and access consumers beyond the mainland," he said, adding that the company's next step would be to help overseas brands access shoppers in Southeast Asia.

Created on Nov 11, 2009, by Alibaba, 11.11, or "Singles' Day", has become China's largest online shopping event. During the 24-hour sales event in 2015, Alibaba reported transactions of goods sold online of 91.2 billion yuan ($13.55 billion).

By expanding globally, Lu Zhenwang, chief executive officer of Shanghai-based Wanqing Consultancy, said Alibaba is expected to set a record in the sales due to a larger shopper base.

"Alibaba's Nov 11 sales are on track to exceed 100 billion yuan. But the continuous sales growth for such an event is not sustainable as the online shopping population in China will peak, and the majority of Alibaba's business still comes from China," Lu said.

His view was echoed by Adam Xu, a partner at multinational consultancy Strategy&. Xu said that there is still a promising future for e-commerce in China, but market growth would be increasingly spurred by expanding product offerings and shoppers' willingness to spend more online. Inc, Alibaba's biggest rival in e-commerce in China, adopts a similar strategy. The company, which has formed a strategic alliance with Wal-Mart, plans to spur sales by helping Chinese consumers access to a wide variety of high-quality products imported by Wal-Mart from around the world.