Alibaba Expansion: Going European

The giant Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba is making a big move and expanding into Europe. Alibaba officially made the company’s London office a regional hub, in hopes of creating a, “gateway to China for international sellers.” Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in London the same day as the Alibaba announcement, “for a state visit to seal a golden era in China-UK relations.” David Cameron also appointed Alibaba founder Jack Ma to the business advisory group after Xi’s four-day visit.

Alibaba is opening country offices in Italy, France, and Germany to, “help international merchants identify the best products for the Chinese market and assist with logistics and online payments. Amee Chande, who has worked for Tesco, Staples, and Wal-Mart, will serve as Alibaba’s managing director for the UK and European territories.

The e-commerce company has made globalization a central part of its strategy. “It tries to help foreign merchants sell into China by adding so-called country pavilions on its Tmall shopping platform where consumers can find popular products from a particular country or related travel and cultural information.” International brands like Burberry, Topshop, Sainsbury’s, and Costco already use Alibaba as a selling platform.

As the company expands, it faces familiar competitors like the American Apparel & Footwear Association, a “trade group urging the U.S. government to relist the group’s Taobao bazaar a ‘notorious market’ for counterfeit goods.” However Alibaba continues its efforts to get rid of, and prevent fake products.

As China’s economy tries to recover from its major slowdown, the partnership between Alibaba and its European hosts could be an exciting—and opportunistic—time in the company’s future. If you have questions about the market, your portfolio, or the impact of volatility abroad, call an expert at Apex Financial Advisors. We can help you find answers and opportunities for your wealth and future.