Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has further expanded its presence in Australia, opening its Melbourne headquarters to help push its brand in the region.
Alibaba’s Australian and New Zealand operations will now operate out of the Collins Street office under local managing director Maggie Zhou. The company has only been operating in Australia for nine months, but already has over 1300 Australian brands operating on its business-to-consumer website Tmall.
“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,” said Zhou.
“Longer term, Alibaba Group’s vision for the ANZ region is to build the entire operating infrastructure needed to enable local businesses to expand globally.”
Founder and chairman Jack Ma met with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last week to discuss greater cross-broader trade with a focus on SMEs and young business people.
Ma said he would always have a place in his heart for Australia, having spent time as a young man down under.
“With a local office and expert team, Alibaba Group will help Australian and New Zealand businesses share their world-famous products with billions of customers around the world,” Ma said.
“Whether a large company with existing links to China or a mum-and-dad run exporter operating out of a garage, Alibaba Group is here to make it easy to do business anywhere.”
Alibaba has made its channel intentions known already, having launched Alibaba Cloud’s data centre in Sydney in late 2016. The cloud business provides cloud computing services including elastic computing and networking, security and management, databases and storage and SDN.
According to Alibaba, there are more than 1000 brick-and-mortar stores that accept Alipay in Australia, Alibaba’s payment system powered by its cloud platform.
In October, Alibaba Cloud hired former VMware general business leader David Green to lead the Australian cloud business as head of channels and alliances with a mandate to build up the company’s local partner network.