World\Latin America

Alibaba, Argentina agree to upgrade e-commerce

By ZHANG WUYUE in Rio de Janeiro For China Daily | | Updated: 2017-05-08 04:22

Alibaba's Jack Ma and President Mauricio Macri of Argentina have reached a strategic e-commerce cooperation agreement.

Alibaba will help the Argentine government introduce the country's wine and other agricultural products into China, as well as help medium and micro corporations in Argentina make progress in China.

In return, the Argentine government will use Alibaba's electronic platforms as its official sales channels.

In the dialogue between Ma and Macri as well as other cabinet ministers, Ma pointed out that the government is obligated to support the development of medium and micro corporations.

Macri hopes that Argentine wine, lobster and fish can be sold to Chinese people through the commercial platforms of Alibaba.

"Our country will grasp the chance of developing online business and promote the domestic electronic commerce with the help of Alibaba," said Macri. "We are now initiating a series of reforms in order to promote investment in infrastructure facilities and enlarge our import and export, in which China and Argentina can help each other."

After the talks with Ma, Macri expressed his excitement on Twitter: "I had a meeting with Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba. Now the medium and micro companies from Argentina can do business on the largest online commercial platform in the world."

"The internet does not steal jobs. Ignoring the internet leads to the loss of jobs," Ma told Xinhua in an exclusive interview. "Shifting resources and energies from the large corporations towards the smaller will benefit the country."

Established as China's answer to in 1999, Ma made his fortune by embracing internet technology. He is confident about what technology can do for society if applied correctly.

According to Argentine officials, there are more than 10,000 companies specializing in export, many of which have not been able to expand sales channels independently.

The government is committed to simplifying local laws and regulations to help those companies compete globally. The agricultural product group of can do business with companies directly as soon as it arrives in Argentina in June.

"Entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized companies will have an advantage, because they are more agile, they will be driving the country's growth," Ma stressed.

"This way of cooperation will lead to a win-win result," said Ma. "The medium and micro corporations in Argentina will have broader sales channels with the help of Alibaba, and we will find qualified local entrepreneurs and reliable partners in this process."

Products from Argentina are becoming increasingly popular among Chinese clients. According to research by Alibaba, seven of the top 10 Argentine products sold on are wines.

In the first season of the year, sales of Argentine wine increased by 256 percent, which is a much faster rate of increase than that of France and other wine-producing countries.

Before talking with Macri, Ma held dialogues with the prime ministers of Denmark and Canada about selling products on Alibaba.

The channel of direct import from the native country has long been considered part of the core competitiveness of online commercial platforms. Many other leaders of Chinese online business platforms are talking with overseas partners to expand commerce, such as Liu Qiangdong, CEO of, and Ding Lei, CEO of Netease.

"In current international commerce, business of generalized preference is much more welcome than ever before. Medium-sized and micro corporations are becoming more deeply involved and important,” said Wang Jian, an expert in cross-border online commerce and professor at the University of International Business and Economics.

"Cross-border online business lowers the threshold of international commerce. The structure of global markets and ways of commerce are driven to fragments, which is more suitable for small companies. Their function needs to be revalued and emphasized by the market as well as the government," said Wang.

Ma is confident that the next 30 years will be the true era of the internet. "In the future, 90 percent of businesses will be online. E-commerce is where the shopping opportunities are, and it is going to become the new way to do retail," he said. "In the next 10 years, all products will be made to measure for the client, and they are only going to be available online."

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