HANGZHOU: Global import, rural e-commerce, and top-tier cities are the three key battlefields for Alibaba in 2016, according to the internet giant's chief executive.

Outlining the strategy in a presentation to employees, Daniel Zhang Yong explained the intention to consolidate and expand current markets, in what has been described by some as an "Alibaba everywhere" approach.

That would be done, he said, "by enhancing reputation, optimising user experience and increasing our market share in first-tier cities".

Alibaba has also sought to boost the rural market by building more than 10,000 village-level service centres to promote e-commerce and provide delivery services, Inside Retail Asia reported.

"We are going to ramp up our efforts to bring quality goods to rural buyers, and deliver local produce to urban customers," Zhang said, "so the rural market can be connected to the whole country and even the whole world."

The world is the focus of the third leg of Alibaba's strategy as it aims to make it easier to bring international brands to Chinese consumers via Tmall Global and g.taobao.com.

The former is a cross-border shopping platform that helps foreign companies connect with Chinese consumers, the latter a niche channel within the Taobao Marketplace platform where consumers can find quality products sourced from around the world.

"We are going to build our businesses around the two brands," Zhang stated.

Late last year Alibaba revealed that more than 300m Chinese consumers shop on its Tmall and Taobao platforms and said that new China-specific megatrends were emerging as they bought healthier and smarter, with fitness, wellness and convenience emerging as major consumer sectors.

At that time it also suggested that second and third-tier cities would be the next consumer growth drivers in the country, as the internet becomes commonplace in provincial areas.

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