Alibaba Group announced a commitment to help import US$200 billion worth of goods from more than 120 countries over the next five years, as part of its efforts to promote globalisation and meet the rising demand of Chinese consumers for high-quality international goods.
“Globalisation is one of Alibaba’s most critical long-term growth strategies. We are building the future infrastructure of commerce to realise a globalised digital economy where trade is possible for every country around the world,” Zhang said in a statement. “Leveraging Alibaba’s innovative technology and robust ecosystem, we are committed to making global trade more inclusive and fulfilling our mission ‘to make it easy to do business anywhere’ in the digital era.”
Between 2019 and 2023, Alibaba will help import international goods from businesses of all sizes in top countries such as Germany, Japan, Australia, US, and South Korea, the company said in the statement.
Zhang made the announcement on stage at the Global Import Leadership Summit in Shanghai on Tuesday, a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping made fresh promises on Monday to open China’s economy to the outside world, including lowering import tariffs and broadening market access, and voiced support for economic globalisation.
At an economic forum in Singapore on Tuesday, Vice-president Wang Qishan said that China is ready to engage with the US to resolve their months-long trade dispute. He also pushed back against Washington’s “America first” trade policies in a nearly 20-minute keynote address at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum, without referencing US President Donald Trump by name.
Alibaba will hold its annual Singles’ Day shopping festival on November 11 and expects to achieve a record 1 billion orders in 24 hours. This year is the 10th edition of the shopping day, which has grown to become the biggest online shopping event in the world and in recent years has included traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers as well as more merchants and consumers outside China.
The company will have 1 million square meters of bonded warehousing space, equivalent to about 140 soccer fields, through the Cainiao logistics network for the event this year, according to Alvin Liu, general manager of Tmall Import and Export. A total of six procurement centres will be set up in regions including Europe, North America, Japan and South Korea, he said on Tuesday in Shanghai.
This year, Alibaba’s Southeast Asian subsidiary Lazada Group will jointly hold for the first time Singles’ Day promotions across Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Alibaba said in September that it plans to invest 100 billion yuan (US$15 billion) to strengthen its global logistics network over the next five years after becoming the controlling stakeholder in its affiliate logistics arm Cainiao Network. This month, Rwanda become the first African nation to join the Alibaba-led Electronic World Trade Platform, following similar initiatives in Southeast Asia.
Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.