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Alibaba to topple Walmart as world's top retailer
Mar '16
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is expected to surpass the US multinational firm Walmart soon as the world's largest retail platform with its total trading volume this fiscal year set to exceed $463.3 billion, the state-run China Daily has reported

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd expected to make an official announcement at the end of this fiscal year on March 31.

While Walmart Stores Inc posted net sales of $478.6 billion for its fiscal year ending January 31, the latest trading volume figure for Alibaba amounted to 3 trillion yuan ($463.3 billion), the company said.

It is equivalent to China's Sichuan province's gross domestic product (GDP) last year, when the province's GDP ranked sixth on the Chinese mainland, the report said.

Alibaba CEO Zhang Yong said in Hangzhou that the figure was recorded on the company's business-to-customer platform Tmall, consumer-to-consumer platforms Taobao and Rural Taobao, and group-buying site Juhuasuan.

Zhang said he expected the company will achieve an annual trading volume of six trillion yuan by 2020 (about $980 billion) and that "in 2024, we wanted to be a business platform serving 2 billion consumers and tens of millions of enterprises at home and abroad."

Last year, Chinese consumers' willingness to spend reached the highest level since 2012, despite the economic slowdown, according to a study published in February by The Nielsen Company.

"This is a result of China's commitment to shifting from an investment-driven to a consumption-driven economy," said Kiki Fan, managing director of Nielsen China.

"Booming online shopping provides more variety and convenience to customers, thus fuelling their spending desire," Fan said.

Despite its economic growth falling below 7 per cent for the first time since 2009, China surpassed the US last year to become the largest e-commerce market in the world, according to statistics from multinational consultancy Forrester Research Inc. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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