Alibaba unveils 20-year blueprint for future growth

Lim Chang-won Reporter Posted : 2018-06-13 17:10 Updated : 2018-06-13 17:10
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[Courtesy of Alibaba]

SEOUL -- Alibaba, the largest e-commerce company in China, has disclosed a blueprint to expand its tourism and logistics business and use its platform to support South Korean companies seeking to enter Southeast Asia.

Alibaba vice chairman Angel Zhao, who serves as president of the Alibaba Global Business Group, introduced the group's core strategy at a seminar Monday in Seoul. Alibaba plans to build a global retail network through five strategies -- global purchasing, sales, payment, logistics and tourism.

The global purchasing strategy is closely related to the import-oriented policy of the Chinese government. "China will become a huge market that will gradually activate the domestic market in export-oriented countries in the future," Zhao said. "In the next five years, we plan to import $8 trillion worth of products."

"Alibaba is introducing superior products from partner companies around the world to China through e-commerce platforms such as Taobao, TIMO, Tianmao and Tmall Global," Zhao said.

Alibaba also plans to strengthen global logistics capabilities by expanding its logistics and tourism business. The group aims to utilize its logistics and delivery services, such as CAINIAO, a global parcel tracking platform and Fliggy, a travel platform.

"Combining a logistic system that can be shipped to 220 countries around the world, a payment system used by 870 million people in 40 countries, and a tourism platform with more than 200 million subscribers in China, I hope that we will be able to offer a unique travel experience to our customers by establishing partnerships with Korean travel agencies," Zhao said.

The expansion stands out from Alibaba's global sales strategy. The group recently increased stakes to 83 percent by investing an additional $2 billion in Lazada, the largest e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia.

"Alibaba has been able to help global companies to reach out to Southeast Asia and help companies expand their business across borders and thrive in new markets," Zhao said. "Since the Southeast Asian market is a young and vigorous market with bright prospects, I hope Korean companies will pioneer Southeast Asian markets with Alibaba."

Zhao emphasized that combining the fast-growing online business with the offline distribution is a major task for Alibaba's global retail chain. The group has opened a retail outlet that combines online and offline services such as Hema Xiansheng. It has also acquired RT-Mart. Customers can purchase groceries and other products through New Retail technology by digitizing transactions. Tmall GLOBAL will be able to sell products in Hema and RT-Mart stores.

Tmal's import and export business head Alvin Liu commented, "Tmall Global will be a leading online station platform. This is a good opportunity for Korea’s products as they have a great potential in China."