The company said it plans to open an office in Melbourne, Australia, by the end of the year that will allow it to introduce both its online marketplace and payment business to the continent, according to ZDNet.
The Australian expansion is part of Alibaba’s aggressive globalization strategy and will not only open up the Alibaba eCommerce marketplace to Australia but also allow Alibaba to export Australian goods to its other markets and import foreign goods into Australia for sale.
“We see a lot of potential in the Australian market as Alibaba continues its globalization efforts,” Alibaba said in a statement to the Australian press when the Melbourne office was first announced in April. “We aim to have dedicated country operations to work closely with Australian merchants and partners, and it is our plan to establish an office in Australia in late 2016 to better help local brands and merchants to access … the Chinese consumer market.”
Alibaba’s Australian expansion will also allow it to introduce its ePayment tool, Alipay, to Australia, where more than 1 million Chinese tourists visited last year on vacation, according to information from Australia’s tourism board.
Alibaba Founder Jack Ma has publicly stated his desire for Alibaba to become the world’s “fifth-richest country” by 2020, after the economies of the U.S., China, the European Union and Japan. Ma has also publicly vowed that more than half of Alibaba’s revenue will come from countries outside of China by 2036.