India very important for Alibaba, says CEO

By Bhavana Akella

Shanghai, Nov 11 (IANS) India is a “very important” market to the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba in its global strategy, the Chief Executive Officer of the company said here on Saturday.

“Globalisation is one of our key strategies for Alibaba. As part of this strategy, India is a very important topic. India is a very important market for us to look at,” Daniel Zhang, the CEO of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, told media on the sidelines of the company’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival.

“Before entering any new market, we ask ourselves how we can help the local market. For a market like India, the key aspect of our strategy is to help the local enterprises grow,” Zhang added.

The company, which had invested in Indian digital payment platform and e-commerce brand Paytm to become the largest stakeholder in it, is “happy” to see digital payments growing in India, the CEO said.

“We have invested in Paytm. We are very happy to see digital payment becoming so popular in India. This is one of the best examples to demonstrate how we want to help the local markets grow,” Zhang said.

For Alibaba, it was not about going to a new market for doing business but about sharing the company’s experience with the local people, the 45-year-old CEO added.

Zhang, who was earlier the CEO of Taobao, an online shopping portal owned by the Alibaba Group, was appointed the CEO of the Alibaba Group in 2015.

Founded in 1999 by Chinese teacher-turned-entrepreneur Jack Ma as a platform to connect Chinese manufacturers with the world, Alibaba soon rose to become the largest e-commerce platform in the world.

Headquartered in Hangzhou, about 180km south of Shanghai, Alibaba is among the top 10 biggest companies of the world.

The platform has over 500 million monthly active users across its platforms. Alibaba also offers electronic payment services, shopping portals and cloud computing services.

(Bhavana Akella is in Shanghai at the invitation of Alibaba. She can be contacted at bhavana.a@ians.in)

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