Metro AG, Germany’s largest retailer, has formed an alliance with Alibaba to develop its ecommerce business and help more European consumer brands expand in the Chinese market. This comes as Metro recently completed its USD328 million acquisition of Classic Fine Foods Group, a Singapore-based distributor of gourmet food products.
In the face of increasing shareholder pressure, China’s ecommerce companies such as Alibaba and JD.com have started to invest to pursue growth in rural areas. This comes at a time when growth in urban areas have slowed to 17% (compared to 41% growth in rural areas).
Alibaba is investing 10 billion yuan to set up 1,000 county-level distribution centers over the next 3 to 5 years, which will be operated by third-party service providers. On the other hand, JD.com intends to run its own network of warehouses while outsourcing deliveries to third-party logistics providers.
According to analysts, despite the high growth rate in rural areas, deliveries to rural areas make up only 10 percent of parcels generated from Alibaba’s marketplaces.
E-commerce giant Alibaba is rolling out a new initiative to promote its Taobao marketplace this weekend by inviting the public to try on stylish wardrobes in minibuses provided by Uber that serve as “mobile dressing rooms”.
The minibuses can be summoned via Uber’s app and will operate in Guangzhou, Chengdu and Hangzhou this weekend. The objective is to see how customers interact through this new experience, before rolling out the program to other cities in the future.
Yongda, a leading Chinese luxury auto service provider listed in Hong Kong, will sell cars online through Alibaba’s Tmall platform, a move that comes as the mainland fever for pricey wheels cools.
The two giants will allow customers across the nation to buy a car at a single price and pick it up at the nearest Yongda shop, the two companies announced on Wednesday.
According to Wang Licheng, Alibaba’s general manager of automobile business, Alibaba would also offer zero-interest loans to buyers depending on their previous credit record with Tmall and its sister platform, Taobao.