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Alibaba links up with Dutch brands

News, 02 November 2015

HANGZHOU: The Netherlands has become the latest nation to attract the attention of Alibaba as the Chinese ecommerce giant ramps up its global ambitions with a series of deals with Dutch companies.

Alibaba, which is opening up its Tmall Global online marketplace to make it easier for foreign brands to sell in China, announced the launch of a Holland "pavilion" on the site that will feature a range of popular Dutch brands, Inside Retail Asia reported.

Agreements have been signed with major Dutch retailers Royal Ahold, Albert Heijn and Attent while, separately, Alibaba's travel unit Alitrip will collaborate with Dutch carrier KLM and the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions.

These deals were announced at the official launch of the new Holland pavilion, an event attended by an official Dutch delegation that included King Willem-Alexander, who is touring China on a state visit.

The pavilion becomes the 13th base for exports from a national country that Tmall Global has opened since May and joins others from major trading nations, such as the US, UK, France and Australia. It also comes as China gears up for the massive November 11 shopping event.

Commenting on the Dutch deal, Alibaba Group executive chairman Jack Ma, said: "Many people said 16 years ago our dream was impossible, but we have made it a reality today.

"Now we have over 120 million people shopping on our marketplaces each day, where they have access to products and fresh produce from far-away countries around the world such as Holland."

In recent months, Alibaba has formed strategic partnerships with a number of major foreign companies, including Anglo-Dutch FMCG giant Unilever and Metro Group, the German retailer.

It all forms part of Alibaba's strategic plan for global expansion, which the company's CEO, Daniel Zhang, outlined in mid-October. These plans include continuing to add more country pavilions to its online platforms as well as opening new offices in France, Germany and Italy.

Data sourced from Inside Retail Asia, Xinhua; additional content by Warc staff