By opening Australian headquarters.

Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba Group, has opened headquarters in Melbourne, led by Australian and New Zealand managing director, Maggie Zhou, who will be supported by a local team.

Zhou and her team have been operational in Australia for nine months, introducing new brands to Alibaba’s platforms and supporting existing clients with the challenges of operating abroad.

“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,” Zhou said.

“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. Alibaba Cloud launched its services and opened its data centre in late 2016 and there are now more than 1,000 bricks-and-mortar stores accepting Alipay across Australia and New Zealand. This is just the start, with further growth planned in the areas of cloud, payments, digital entertainment and logistics,” Zhou continued.

Opening ceremony

Speaking at a ceremony with over 350 business, industry and government figures, Alibaba Group founder and executive chairman, Jack Ma said, “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. 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.”

“Australia will always have a special place in my heart and that’s why I am so pleased to come back to contribute to supporting Australian businesses to create opportunities and jobs in a country that has meant so much for me,” Ma said.

On Friday, Ma met with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Sydney and shared a common vision of promoting greater cross-border trade, particularly to benefit SME’s and young business people.

There are over 1,300 Australian and 400 New Zealand brands on Tmall and Tmall Global, many of which entered China for the first time through these platforms. The success of Australian products was illustrated through the 2016 Double 11 Global Shopping Festival, with Australia ranked the fourth highest selling country.

Strategic collaboration with Australia Post

Furthermore, Alibaba Group signed a memorandum of understanding with Australia Post to strengthen trade opportunities for Australian businesses selling to the millions of consumers across Alibaba’s platform.

The agreement will involve Alibaba Group collaborating with Australia Post to develop the first Australian marketplace within the Lazada eCommerce Network in South-East Asia. Australia Post storefronts will be established on all Lazada platforms with pilots in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia to begin in 2017.

The partnership builds on Alibaba Group and Australia Post’s relationship established in 2014, and will enable Australian businesses, particularly SMEs, to perform more effectively across key platforms, like Tmall Global, Taobao Global and, through the sharing of data, increased marketing activities and improved logistics.