Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA) today announced its commitment to help import $200 billion worth of goods from more than 120 countries over the next five years, underscoring the company’s long-term commitment to globalization and boosting its efforts to meet the rising demand of Chinese consumers for high-quality international products.
“Globalization is one of Alibaba’s most critical long-term growth strategies. We are building the future infrastructure of commerce to realize a globalized digital economy where trade is possible for every country around the world,” said Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group. “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.”
The company unveiled its $200 billion goal at its Global Import Leadership Summit held at the first-ever China International Import Expo in Shanghai. Between 2019 and 2023, Alibaba will help import international goods from businesses of all sizes in top countries such as Germany, Japan, Australia, U.S., Indonesia and South Korea. Several top global brands including P&G, Nestlé, JBS, and Refa, touted their holistic partnership with the entire Alibaba ecosystem. By collaborating with various Alibaba businesses units, these brands have been able to effectively engage with China’s massive middle class, a primary engine powering China’s consumption growth.
“China’s middle class is booming. As incomes are rising in China, consumers want faster access to and a wider variety of high-quality products from around the world,” said Alvin Liu, General Manager of Tmall Import and Export. “Tmall is uniquely positioned to help international brands tap into the growing China market as consumers seek to upgrade their lifestyle.”
According to a joint report by Deloitte China, the China Chamber of International Commerce, and AliResearch, China’s robust economic growth in recent years has increased the number of middle-to-high income Chinese consumers, who are fueling the demand for imported, quality goods. The report notes that China’s cross-border e-commerce market has grown remarkably, with the proportion of imports to total e-commerce sales growing from 1.6% in 2014 to 10.2% in 2017. The report also highlights that, between 2014 and 2017, the number of shoppers on Alibaba’s dedicated platform for cross-border shopping, Tmall Global, has grown ten-fold.