Victorian businesses are set to have greater access to China’s multi-billion dollar e-commerce market after the world’s largest online and mobile commerce company, Alibaba Group, today officially opened its new Australia and New Zealand headquarters in Melbourne.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis joined Alibaba Group Executive Chairman Jack Ma and Managing Director Australia and New Zealand Maggie Zhou to welcome the move that is set to boost the state’s position as Australia’s leading tech and business hub.
Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Hangzhou, China, Alibaba Group is one of the world’s largest e-commerce companies with hundreds of millions of active consumers and gross annual sales that hit US$462 billion in 2015.
The company provides a wide range of services on various platforms and its affiliated companies including B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to customer) e-commerce and data and cloud computing.
It also operates a travel and tourism service platform, payment services and a logistics data platform – creating faster and easier access for our producers, exporters and logistics providers to do business with China.
Victorian companies are already capitalising on e-commerce opportunities in China, including vitamin giant Swisse, which was bought for $1.67 billion in 2016 by Hong Kong company Biostime on the back of strong sales and growth in China.
An IBIS World report published in April 2016 found the Chinese e-commerce market is the world’s largest with an estimated 688 million internet users spending more than $779 billion each year. It is expected to grow at an annual rate of more than 22 per cent to 2021.
The new headquarters will help build momentum for Victorian businesses on the back of the Andrews Labor Government’s first-of-a-kind partnership established last year with Alibaba’s Tmall platform and Australia Post to provide local businesses easier access to the Chinese market through an online shopfront.
Alibaba joins a growing list of leading global tech companies that have chosen Melbourne to set up their regional headquarters including Zendesk, Slack, Square, GoPro and Cognizant.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“More global brands are choosing to do business right here in Victoria and Alibaba’s new base in Melbourne is fantastic for local jobs and export opportunities.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis
“This is great news for Victorian businesses and exporters who will have greater access to one of the world’s biggest markets without having to leave their homes.”
Quotes attributable to Managing Director Alibaba Group Australia and New Zealand Maggie Zhou
“The opening of the office in Melbourne will mean more opportunities for Australian and New Zealand exporters. We are looking forward to working with the Australian and New Zealand retailers on using the Alibaba e-commerce ecosystem and helping Australian businesses access new markets in China and beyond.”r