Alibaba is taking a major step in its international push. The Chinese e-commerce giant is introducing Tmall in Europe, starting with Spain. Michael Evans, president of Alibaba, announced this at the Viva Tech conference in Paris, France.
Pilot project in Spain
Tmall has grown as a trading platform where international brands showcase themselves to a large Chinese consumer base. In 2017, Tmall expanded to Russia, and now its focus is further west.
Small sets sights on the West
Evans revealed in Paris that Tmall is currently conducting a pilot project in Spain, which “will expand across Europe”. Spain is also the testing ground for Miravia, another platform through which Alibaba intends to conquer Europe.
Local brands for local shoppers
Evans is leading Alibaba Group’s globalization strategy. “You will see something called Tmall, which we have in China, become Tmall in Europe,” he stated at the Viva Tech conference last week, adding:
“We will serve local brands and local consumers in the local market.”
According to CNBC, the announcement marks a significant shift in Alibaba’s international e-commerce strategy. The Chinese market leader previously focused on its AliExpress platform to target European shoppers, enticing them with attractively priced products from Chinese factories. Shipping times were often long, and European policy makers implemented fiscal measures while consumers increasingly valued the origin of products. As a result, Alibaba’s revenue on our continent declined.
Evans suggested that Tmall in Europe would concentrate on selling local brands to local shoppers. It remains unclear if there will be any merging with AliExpress.
‘Europe is a top priority’
Two months ago, Alibaba announced plans to divide its business into six units, aiming to give each unit more autonomy and faster decision-making powers. Tmall falls under the Taobao Tmall Commerce Group, which has both a national and international focus. “Europe is a top priority for all of the businesses that have an international component,” Evans said.