Alibaba, UKTI sign deal to help British firms operate sales to China
Updated: 2015-10-24 10:01
Since appearing on the e-commerce company's Alipay platform on Oct 16, the "Helping Elderly Insurance" from Sinosafe General Insurance Company has received some 26,000 applications.[Photo/IC]
The Memorandum of Understanding will see Alibaba help British companies join the 1688.com trading platform -- a Chinese wholesale e-marketplace dedicated to helping Chinese retailers, wholesalers and distributors find overseas suppliers, including those from Britain.
Alibaba estimates that the website will help British companies reach more than 100 million Chinese businesses every day, which is nearly twice the British population.
"We are delighted to be working with Alibaba as part of UKTI's E-Exporting Program, dedicated to accelerating British exports via online channels," UKTI Chief Executive Catherine Raines was quoted as saying in a press release from Alibaba.
"This agreement is also another positive step towards the British government's export drive, helping 100,000 more British companies to export their goods and services overseas by 2020," she was quoted as saying.
UKTI is Britain's governmental department working with a number of global e-marketplaces to help British retailers and brands to sell through e-marketplaces and help them succeed in the global economy.
"Alibaba is a gateway for international businesses and brands to sell their products to China and we strongly believe that...we will be able to help more British businesses reach potential Chinese customers," managing director of Alibaba Group U.K. Amee Chande was quoted as saying.
"It is our mission to open the door to China for businesses of all sizes so that they can tap into the huge opportunity that presents to their future growth as a company," she added.
Alibaba's London office at the financial district Canary Wharf will expand to serve as its European hub, with other offices to be opened successively in Italy, France and Germany in months.
Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba who has been appointed to David Cameron's Business Advisory Group, urged small and medium-sized Western companies to take advantage of China's expanding middle-class.
"In the next 10-20 years, we believe there will be half-a-billion middle class people (in China)," Ma told the Britain-China Business Summit on Wednesday, which was held in London on the fringes of Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit.
Western companies should look at China as a "huge opportunity" instead of a threat because, despite a slowdown of the economy, it is still growing and consumers want to buy goods from overseas, especially the middle-class consumers, he said.