Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. announced today the official launch of Tmall World as part of its globalization strategy. The new platform aims to connect the over 100 million overseas Chinese shoppers worldwide with products offered on its flagship e-commerce portals, Taobao and Tmall.
The new program will initially focus on countries and regions close to Alibaba’s home market, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. In Hong Kong, Alibaba will expand its product categories by adding Tmall Supermarket to existing offerings. Singapore and Malaysia have been included in the priority markets to offer Tmall World because of their sizeable Chinese population, Alibaba said in an announcement.
In April 2016, Alibaba agreed to buy a controlling stake in Southeast Asian online retailer Lazada for approximately US$1 billion to accelerate expansion into the region. Last November, Lazada acquired Singapore-based online grocery shopping site RedMart for a reported price of between US$30 million to US$40 million to add grocery products to its offerings.
Today’s announcement is the latest step taken by the Chinese e-commerce giant to tap into the markets in Asia. In addition, Lazada recently launched Taobao Collection in Singapore and Malaysia to cater to local populations that don’t speak Chinese.
In order to help merchants and brands on Alibaba’s platforms to extend to the global Chinese market, Alibaba will provide solutions including logistics, payment, and localization support catering to each local market needs.
Alibaba plans to reach US$1 trillion in Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) in 2020, and to serve two billion global consumers by 2036, said Daniel Zhang, Alibaba CEO, last week during the company’s investor day.