International

Alibaba Plotting an eCommerce Revolution With Russia

After less than a month, Alibaba CEO Jack Ma is back in Russia to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, but also to discuss with Russian officials the common objectives eCommerce offers the two nations, reports Watch China Times. Ma is hoping for his No. 1 marketplace in China to break through in Russia, in which Ma promises to invest more in human and tech resources. Ultimately Ma wants to help Russians sell on his market platform to Chinese, but also to the rest of the world.

“We discussed the future development of eCommerce with the Communications Ministry and the Economic Development Ministry. We talked about the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as the whole Russian market. We also had discussions with the Russian Post on how to make the quickest cross-border delivery from China to Russia,” Ma specified.

Based on Aliexpress’ exponential growth in Russia, Ma is convinced that Russia’s online commerce has especially promising prospects.

Five-year-old Aliexpress has had undeniable success – it is the most visited site in Russia, with an average of 15.6 million customers a month in the second half of 2014, reports Forbes. For the sake of comparison, eBay and Amazon have 3.7 million and 1.4 million customers a month, respectively.

“Although we have only one employee working in Russia, Aliexpress managed to become the No 1 most-visited eCommerce website in the country,” Ma told Xinhua.

Ma’s strategy in Russia is the same as in the U.S.: to target small and medium-sized businesses, which he believes should also reap the benefits of globalization. “I want to make a bet, small business always makes a bet. In five years, we will sell $1 trillion U.S. sales,” he recently stated.

His call sounds almost like a revolutionary fighting for the good of the less fortunate. Ma, who used to be a small business owner himself, believes that eCommerce holds more than just profit gains – it can also make the world a better place. ECommerce, says Ma, can make the global trade system more transparent and open.

“The Big Data era, alongside the Internet revolution, brings challenges and opportunities to every country. It is time for developing and underdeveloped countries and regions to catch up,” Ma said.

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