Alibaba, the Chinese eCommerce behemoth, is planning to expand its Tmall eCommerce site to Europe, according to Michael Evans, president of Alibaba Group.
Speaking at the Viva Tech conference in Paris, Evans revealed that the company’s move into Europe reflects a significant shift in strategy for Alibaba’s international eCommerce operations.
“You will see something called Tmall, which we have in China, become Tmall in Europe, which means we will serve local brands and local consumers in the local market,” he said, per CNBC, adding, “The future is about building local businesses.”
He noted that Europe is “a top priority for all businesses that have an international component,” which includes the international commerce businesses, the cloud business, and particularly the logistics business.
Against that backdrop, the Chinese company is conducting a pilot project in Spain, which “will expand across Europe,” and is expected to boost the company’s already impressive growth.
Meanwhile, PYMNTS recently reported that Alibaba could be mulling a U.S. initial public offering (IPO) for its eCommerce unit, per Bloomberg.
The Chinese tech giant is reportedly in the early stages of weighing the listing, although the size of the IPO is yet to be determined.
The company appeared to deny the report when asked for comment by PYMNTS, offering a one-sentence statement: “Currently, there is no IPO plan.”
The news came on the heels of Alibaba announcing it would divide itself into six pieces in May, allowing it to take at least some of the new businesses public. Five of the six groups will have their own CEOs and boards, as well as the ability to raise outside funds and go after an IPO, according to the report.
“The original intention and fundamental purpose of this reform is to make our organization more agile, shorten decision-making links and respond faster,” CEO Daniel Zhang, who is also serving as CEO of Cloud Intelligence Group, said in a letter to Alibaba workers in March.