CHINA TOPIX

Updated 10:35 AM EDT, Thu, Apr 18, 2019

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Jack Ma Heads to U.S. to Encourage American Vendors to Sell on Alibaba

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(Photo : Reuters) Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma is set to travel in the U.S. to promote Alibaba as an e-commerce platform to reach China's domestic market.

Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma is scheduled to visit key cities in the United States to encourage businesses to sell their wares to the Chinese market through his online company.

Bloomberg reported that Ma hopes to make Alibaba a digital bridge between the American vendors and Chinese online consumers.

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Chinese consumers demand for U.S. products is growing considerably.  However, luxury goods being sold to China are slowing down since 2012.  Nowadays, most Chinese prefer to buy electric razors, toys, toothbrushes, and other everyday products online.  China's netizens bought around $20 billion worth of American products last year, according to another Bloomberg report.

Ma's New York itinerary includes dinner with a select group of company heads on Monday and lunch at the famous Waldorf-Astoria hotel. He will also meet with the city's Economic Club the next day.

Alibaba announced that Ma will later go to Chicago to meet with around 300 retailers and Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express.  A meeting with the city's mayor, Rahm Emanuel, has also been scheduled.

American companies such as Macy's and Costco are already selling in China through Alibaba's e-commerce site.  Alibaba's current income from overseas sales stands at around 4 percent. Ma reportedly wants to increase that to 50 percent.

Alibaba is not the only one pursuing this strategy.  Amazon and Tencent's JD.com are already selling more and more Western products to Chinese online customers.    

American businesses clearly see the benefits of partnering with Chinese e-commerce sites such as Alibaba. Krista Garcia, a retail analyst from EMarketer, said Chinese consumers want the "real deal" kinds of products that the regular American buys.

Chinese buyers reportedly trust the quality control of U.S. goods even though they are aware that such products are made in factories around China.

The threat of counterfeit goods competing with their product has always been the fear of many American stores.  But that is exactly why Chinese demand for authentic goods are growing. 

Jack Ma has promised to shut down online vendors selling counterfeit goods on Alibaba's marketplace following complaints from some western luxury brand companies.

Business Times reported that Alibaba intends to expand globally by convincing top U.S. brands to sell their goods through its TMall site.

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