Alibaba opens UK office for euro expansion

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Alibaba has appointed its first UK md Amee Chande
Alibaba has appointed its first UK md Amee Chande

Related tags: United kingdom

Global online retail giant the Alibaba Group has appointed a UK md to run its UK office, as part of plans to expand its business empire into Europe and facilitate sales to China.

Appointing Amee Chande to lead its regional hub office in London and a country office in Italy were key steps in “its globalisation strategy to serve as a gateway to China”,​ according to the business.

Alibaba will act as a sales platform for international brands and businesses of all sizes, as it struck partnerships with a range of individual countries to facilitate imports directly into China, it said.

Alibaba Group president Michael Evans said: "Chinese consumers are looking for quality, authentic international products and global brands. Europe is a logical first step with its diverse range of unique brands and high-quality products.”

‘Looking for global brands’

The business was establishing a team of experts in the UK and Italy to help European brands, retailers and government partners understand the opportunities in China. That will involve “working directly with them in local language, in-country, to get their products into the hands of Chinese consumers,”​ said Evans.

The country offices will serve local brands, retailers and government partners who seek “access the large and growing Chinese consumer class looking for high-quality international products and services”, he added.

Acting as a ‘one-stop shop’ for local business, Alibaba country offices will help identify the most suitable local products for the Chinese market, help merchants sell on Alibaba's platforms, assist with outbound and inbound logistics, and facilitate online payments for Chinese consumers and offline payments for Chinese tourists.

Food scandals

A series of food scandals in recent years has tainted the reputation of domestically-produced food and drink, leading many increasingly affluent Chinese consumers to seek western brands.

For example, Scottish fish and other seafood exports to China soared by 92%​ last year, according to the Scottish government.

Meanwhile, Chinese president Xi Jinping’s four-day visit to Britain is expected generate more than £30bn worth of deals between this country and Chi na.

China is expected to help build the UK’s first nuclear power plant to be built in a generation. The new plant at Hinkley Point, Somerset, could be opened in 2025 and create 25,000 jobs while generating the energy to power 6M homes, according to the government.

Addressing both houses of Parliament on Monday (October 19) , the Chinese president said the UK and China were becoming more interdependent with a “community of shared interests”.

Chinese demand for western exports

"Chinese consumers are looking for quality, authentic international products and global brands. Europe is a logical first step with its diverse range of unique brands and high-quality products.”

  • Michael Evans, Alibaba Group president 

Related topics: Business, East Asia, Supply chain, China

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