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Alibaba expands presence to Australia and New Zealand

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Alibaba Group plans to ratchet up its Asia-Pacific cross-border retail activities with the launch of operations in Melbourne to serve online merchants in Australia and New Zealand.

New York-listed Alibaba announced on Tuesday the planned opening of its new office in the capital of the Australian state of Victoria later this year, following this week’s four-city roadshow by company president Michael Evans in the two countries.

“A stronger presence [in Australia and New Zealand] will advance our global goal of serving two billion consumers, while supporting tens of millions of small businesses, brands and retailers across the world,” Evans said.

Cross-border retail e-commerce sales in mainland China are forecast to reach US$85.76 billion this year, up from US$57.13 billion last year, on the back of growing domestic demand for quality merchandise from foreign markets, according to research firm eMarketer.

It attributed the rapid surge in cross-border e-commerce purchases by mainland consumers over the past two years to increased activity on Alibaba’s Tmall Global platform and the JD Worldwide site of Tencent Holdings-backed JD.com.

Data from eMarketer showed that the number of cross-border online retail buyers in China are projected to swell to 128 million this year, a 71.7 per cent increase from 74.6 million last year.

The best-performing products from Australia and New Zealand sold on Alibaba’s local Tmall site and Tmall Global include food and beverage, cosmetics, and a range of goods for mothers and infants, the Hangzhou-based company said.

(Source: SCMP)

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