Alibaba has made its biggest foray into European markets yet by appointing country managers to run its UK and Italian offices, in a bid to serve as a “gateway to China” for international brands and businesses of all sizes.
London ‘European hub’
Alibaba Group’s London office will expand to serve as the company’s European hub, and the company is also opening a country office in Milan, Italy. Effective immediately, Amee Chande will serve as the managing director of Alibaba Group in the U.K. and Rodrigo Cipriani Foresio will serve as the managing director of Alibaba Group in Italy.
The company also announced its intention to expand its ‘physical presence’ into France and Germany with new offices in the coming months, although an exact timeline has not been disclosed yet.
The London and Milan offices, Alibaba hopes, will serve local brands, retailers and government partners who are looking to access the large and growing Chinese consumer class looking for high-quality international products and services.
The e-commerce giant plans for the European offices to become a “one-stop shop” for local business by helping merchants sell on Alibaba’s platforms, assist with outbound and inbound logistics, and facilitate online payments for Chinese consumers and offline payments for Chinese tourists.
“Chinese consumers are looking for quality, authentic international products and global brands. Europe is a logical first step with its diverse range of unique brands and high-quality products.
“We are putting in place a strong team of experts in our Italian and U.K. offices that will help European brands, retailers and government partners understand the opportunities in China and work directly with them in local language, in-country, to get their products into the hands of Chinese consumers,” said Michael Evans, president of Alibaba Group.
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