Australian wines are set to get a big boost in China from e-commerce giant Alibaba Group’s latest venture, who are launching an online “flagship store” featuring Australian wine on Alibaba’s business-to-consumer platform Tmall.com.
Alibaba’s online retail sites cater to 434 million Chinese consumers, and the group generates half of China’s online wine sales. The new store on Tmall, supported by Wine Australia and operated by Chinese online retailer Vinehoo.com, will initially stock 10 brands from eight Australian wine regions, followed by another 20 brands in coming months.
The first brands to be featured include Brokenwood, Coriole, John Duval, Pikes and Voyager Estate, and are not selected by Wine Australia. Chief executive of Wine Australia, Andreas Clark, said Alibaba was a significant player in Chinese e-commerce — a massive company with great reach.
“The muscle they can bring, potentially, to further increasing Australian wine sales is vitally important,” Clark said. China’s food and wine culture is still evolving, he said, and more Chinese consumers are looking online for premium products.
Alibaba’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Maggie Zhou, said Australian wines are considered world-class, and come at varied price points, so the opportunity to sell to China’s growing middle class is significant. Mainland China is now Australia’s second most valuable export market after the US.
Total Australian wine exports to mainland China in fiscal 2016 rose 50 per cent to $419 million. Exports of wine priced at $10 or more per litre grew 71 per cent to $169m.
(Source: The Australian)