This week see’s the founder of Alibaba, China’s most famous and largest ecommerce company in Detroit to try and woo US businesses to his Alibaba platform as China looks to replace America as the world’s largest consider economy. Currently, over 7000 US brands use Alibaba’s marketplace but speaking in January he said that he wanted to attract a million small US businesses.
“We’re focused on small business,” Ma told reporters. “We specifically talked about … supporting 1 million small businesses, especially in the Midwest of America. Small businesses on the platform selling products — agriculture products and America services — to China and Asia, because we’re pretty big in Asia.”
In an open letter to US businesses, Jack Ma tried to get over just what opportunities there are for US companies to sell into China.
“By next year, China’s online spending will be greater than the rest of the world combined. At Alibaba, we want to help you take advantage of this appetite for consumption through our e-commerce marketplaces. As the incomes of Chinese consumers rise and the middle class in China continues to grow, demand for high-quality products from the U.S. is increasing.”
In a chat with acclaimed interviewer Charlie Rose Tuesday, Jack Ma went even further and said that if US businesses miss the opportunity of selling their products to China, then they are missing out on the future.
“In the past thirty years, USA domestic consumption was the engine of the global economy. And I told people at that time, if you miss the opportunity of selling your products to the world, to the USA, to Europe, you might miss the chance. Today I want to tell people that if you miss the opportunity of selling your products to China, you will miss the future.”
However, this many not be an easy sell as when it comes to spending power, the average Chinese customer comes way behind the average US customer and there are a range of concerns about counterfeit goods being sold on the Alibaba platform.
Alibaba is one of the success stories of the modern era in the Far East Best known as an ecommerce marketplace, it accounts for 11% of all retail sales in China. But that is only part of the story its scope covers a wide range of activities from financial services and cloud computing to logistics and media.