Right after its executives signed the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement on Monday (Nov. 17), Alibaba held a briefing in Melbourne to promise to bring far more Australian "products, brands and businesses" to China's online shoppers through both Alipay and the Taobao Marketplace, Forbes is reporting.
"Alipay Australia has been established as a local entity that will work with its joint venture partner, Paybang to help Australian businesses and merchants access Alipay’s cross-border payment solutions," the Forbes story noted. "Alipay has also been working with Australia Post to sell, distribute and promote the Alipay Purchase Card across 4,400 retail outlets for Australian shoppers to use on the Tmall.com and Taobao Marketplace platforms. In 2013, China bought around AUD$9 Billion worth of agriculture products from Australia, more than any other country."
The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Alipay International President Sabrina Peng arguing that the company had decided to intensify its focus on Australia because statistics had proven Chinese consumers were interested in Australian goods. She also made a passing reference to China's widely reported tainted food problems.
"Australia is an exciting market for e-commerce and cross-border trading opportunities," she said at the Alipay Australia launch in Melbourne. "Chinese consumer needs are evolving and their desire for quality, safe foreign goods have yet to be fully met locally."
Peng told the Sydney Morning Herald that Australia had become the fifth-largest market for online good for Chinese shoppers who use Alipay. She added that Alibaba's Australian office is opening with three fulltime staff but that she plans on increasing the staff size.