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Alibaba CEO outlines expansion plan for 2016
08
Jan '16
Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang has said that the group will adopt a three-pronged strategy to expand in 2016.

“Global import, rural e-commerce, and top-tier cities are the three key battlefields for Alibaba in 2016,” he said in an address to employees at the company's campus in Hangzhou, according to Alizila, a news website focusing on the e-commerce industry and Alibaba Group.

After making global expansion and greater penetration of China's underserved rural markets priorities last year, Zhang has laid out the e-commerce giant's strategic direction for 2016, saying Alibaba will be looking to grow its already large operations in China's biggest cities.

“We are going to consolidate and expand our current market, particularly by enhancing reputation, optimizing user experience and increasing our market share in first-tier cities,” Zhang told employees. Although he provided few details, this refocusing on the country's wealthy mega-cities was foreshadowed in September when Alibaba announced it would add China's capital, Beijing, as a second headquarters.

The company has been bolstering its Beijing operations in areas such as the online sale of groceries and consumer electronics, and plans to use the city as a gateway to better serve some 400 million people in northern China, where penetration and support infrastructure is less developed than it is in the country's southeastern provinces.

Outlining a three-prong expansion strategy, Zhang said in addition to targeting first-tier Chinese cities, the company in 2016 would continue to promote e-commerce among rural Chinese residents and globally through its international e-commerce websites.

Zhang last year said the globalization of Alibaba's mostly Chinese operations was a top priority. The company hired former top Goldman Sachs executive Michael Evans to oversee international expansion, boosted its presence in Europe and made cross-border online shopping a highlight of its annual 11.11 Shopping Festival.

This year, Zhang said, the company will continue to build up channels that allow international brands and merchants to sell online to Chinese consumers.

The focus of this effort will be Alibaba's Tmall Global, a cross-border shopping solution that provides Western merchants with a simplified channel for selling online in China, and g.taobao.com, a niche channel within the company's giant Taobao Marketplace that helps consumers discover quality products sourced from around the world. “We are going to build our businesses around the two brands, in order to raise their awareness among customers and offer optimal user experience,” Zhang said. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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