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06 Apr 2017

New retail drives Alibaba's global vision

Alibaba is striving to become a platform for global 'new retail' rather than an e-commerce player, global managing director Guru Gowrappan told delegates at the World Retail Congress in Dubai this morning.

Relaying a series of seismic figures to the speed and scale of the Chinese-based business, especially around the renowned singles day, where its payment platform Alipay was running at 120,000 transactions per second on its way to total sales of USD17.8bn, Gowrappan said that the aspiration is to cover all areas of retail.

The company is set up in what he called a 'stack system' including its core e-commerce offer, mobile services, local services (including grocery), all supported by its payment and logistics platforms.

Mobile accounts for 80% of sales and on singles day this nudged up to 82%, he said, while he also pointed to the growing involvement of international brands in this Chinese phenomenon.

Currently China, India and South East Asia have been its principal growth regions and Gowrappan pointed to the company's belief that by 2020 half of China's urban population will be upper middle class, while India is the “largest young country” he said.

Gowrappan insisted that the company sees itself as a new retail provider and said that broadening its geographies and offer to fulfil anywhere in the world drove its expansion strategy.

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