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Alibaba CEOSHANGHAI: November 06, 2018. Alibaba Group says it will bring US$200 billion worth of imported goods into China over the next five years.

“Globalisation is one of Alibaba’s most-critical long-term growth strategies. We are building the future infrastructure of commerce to realize a globalized digital economy where trade is possible for every country around the world,” said Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang (pictured).

Chinese president Xi Jinping has said that imports of goods and services by China would surpass US$30 trillion and US$10 trillion respectively over the next 15 years.

In 2017, China’s total imports reached US$1.84 trillion, equivalent to a 15.9 percent year-on-year growth according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Currently, Alibaba’s dedicated cross-border platform, Tmall Global, sources goods from 75 countries and regions. Under the newly announced plan, the coverage will increase to more than 120 over the next five years.

The number of product categories is expected to reach 8,000 from the current 3,900. The expansion aims to keep up with China’s growing number of mid-level and high wage earners who are developing a more sophisticated taste for premium products, the company said.

Jessica Rudd, founder of Australia-based e-commerce platform, Jessica’s Suitcase, said that she often engages directly with Chinese shoppers from her home in Brisbane by livestreaming on Taobao.

“I think there is an embarrassing and quite a general assumption about entering the China market, that by having a presence in the market online, you will be able to sell. That is not the case now and that has never been the case,” she said.

“This is the world’s noisiest marketplace. It’s the best marketplace to compete in, but it is also a very crowded market place. So having a presence here is not sufficient. You need to work for it,” she added.

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