Europe is becoming increasingly attractive to Alibaba as the China economy wriggles its way through the economic crisis, and hopefully emerges stronger and better. With mainland Chinese ecommerce slowing, Chairman Jack Ma announced in Hangzhou, “China should shift from exporting to importing.”
“This is a huge change for China, it’s an opportunity not only for China, it is an opportunity for the world.”
What Jack Ma’s European Ambitions for Europe Entail
During a media conference at Alibaba’s headquarters, President Michael Evans announced plans to expand into Germany, Italy and France in the next few months. “Alibaba will become the global infrastructure in the future,” he added at his first public appearance since assuming his new role in August.
Baba Pins Short Term Hopes on Singles Day Ecommerce
Singles Day on November 11 is now China’s biggest reason to go on a shopping spree, with 57.1 billion Yuan ($9 billion US) passing through Alibaba’s payments system Alipay last year. Bloomberg Business predicts Alibaba will use the opportunity 2015 presents to attract even more global brands to China. Recent acquisitions include L’Oreal and Apple. In August, it persuaded Macy’s Inc. to enter the fray. It will be interesting to see which leading European brands follow, and take the Chinese ecommerce plunge.
Pressing Need for Jack Ma to Woo Investors
The punchy chairman has not been having his best twelve months. The U.S. Trade Representative is waving its notorious markets list. This may be a driver behind the expansion drive into Europe. Investor sentiment is also staggering following a $117 billion slide in market value in the past eleven months.
Bloomberg thinks Ali will counter negative American sentiment by expanding its location-based services into brick-and-mortar outlets. Suning Commerce Group Co. and Intime Retail Group Co have already agreed to participate in the 2015 Singles Day. And then there’s the promise of European participation to follow.