- Simone Preuss |
Chinese internet giant Alibaba opened its Australian and New Zealand headquarters in Melbourne on Saturday, February 4, to take care of its business in the region and to help Australian and New Zealand businesses to share their products with billions of customers around the world wie Tmall Global, the company's B2C online platform.
The company did not spare any expenses and welcomed 350 businesspeople and politicians, among them the Australian senator Arthur Sinodinos and the New Zealand minister for economic development, Simon Bridges. Though Australian prime minister MalcolmTurnbull could not make it to the inauguration, he had a „wonderful discussion“ with Jack Ma on Friday, claimed the Alibaba founder and executive chairman.
ANZ managing director Maggie Zhou will head the new office. She is an Alibaba veteran, having worked for the internet giant for 17 years, most recently as deputy general manager for Tmall Global. The team in Melbourne will support around 1,300 Australian and 400 New Zealand businesses currently selling on Tmall and Tmall Global, while also working to bring new merchants onto the platforms.
“A physical Alibaba headquarters is a key step in ensuring Australian businesses have the support and information they need to succeed in China and the rest of the world. ...Longer term, Alibaba Group’s vision for the ANZ region is to build the entire operating infrastruture needed to enable local businesses to expand globally,” said Zhou.
Ma:“Trade is about trust and cultural exchange“
Ma took the inauguration as an opportunity to speak a few words against US president Donald Trump's anti-globalisation policy: “If trade stops, war starts,“ warned the Chinese billionaire according to Business Insider. He also said that for him, a globalised economy is more than just transacting money and goods: “The world needs globalisation, it needs to trade. Trade is about trust and cultural exchange,“ he said. “We have to actively prove that trade helps people to communicate. And we should have fair trade, transparent trade, inclusive trade.“
Just last month, Ma had met Trump in New York to discuss potential trade interests. Better trade relations between the two countries and creating jobs in the United States - Ma spoke of potentially one million new ones - had been on the agenda.
For his Australia plans, Ma said that Turnbull was enthusiastic about his vision to build an e-hub in Australia specifically designed to help small businesses to import and export more efficiently. Ma also announced a memorandum of understanding with Australia Post, which aims at strengthening trade opportunities for Australian businesses as Alibaba and Australia Post plan to develop the first Australian marketplace in the Lazada e-commerce network in South East Asia.Photo: Alibaba