Wednesday 1 April 2015

Alibaba to focus on growth of SMEs in India: Jack Ma

During a recent visit to India, online marketplace giant Alibaba's Chairman, Jack Ma, showed interest in expanding its footprint in India's booming e-commerce industry, particularly focusing on small business.

During his short visit, Ma met Prime Minister Narendar Modi and reportedly discussed the potential of e-commerce and mobile telephony in driving small and medium enterprises and how Alibaba can help empower small businesses in India. He also showed his interest in exploring strategic investments in online retail firms here.

"Over the next three years, one of the key strategies for Alibaba is to globalise and to make sure that we can help more small businesses around the globe, use our services to do businesses," Ma reportedly said at a business event. 

In his November visit last year, Ma was quoted saying, "India is the second largest sourcing ground for Alibaba after China, where the economy has slowed down in recent months". 

He also pointed out that business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce is the model best suited for India and China.

Ma, China's richest man, founded Alibaba in 1999 in Hangzhou, the capital of east China's Zhejiang Province. In a recent survey by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD. the Alibaba Group was ranked as the world’s largest e-commerce company by gross merchandise value—volume of goods and services being transacted — followed by Amazon and eBay.
In January this year, Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial led a $575 million round in mobile internet firm One97 Communications. 

In 2012, two of Alibaba’s portals handled 1.1 trillion yuan ($170 billion) in sales. Alibaba's consumer-to-consumer portal Taobao, similar to, features nearly a billion products and is one of the 20 most-visited websites globally. The Group's websites accounted for over 60% of the parcels delivered in China by March 2013, and 80% of the nation's online sales by September 2014. Alipay, an online payment escrow service, accounts for roughly half of all online payment transactions within China. Alibaba reported sale of more than $9 billion on China's Singles' Day in 2014.

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