Alibaba has opened a headquarters in Melbourne that will serve as its base in Australia and New Zealand, part of plans to create closer ties with the countries.
The new office was announced at the weekend and Alibaba group executive chairman Jack Ma attended an event to launch the new space.
Ma said it will open up an opportunity for businesses in ANZ to sell to Chinese consumers: “With a local office and expert team, Alibaba Group will help Australian and New Zealand businesses share their world-famous products with billions of customers around the world. Whether a large company with existing links to China or a mum-and-dad run exporter operating out of a garage, Alibaba Group is here to make it easy to do business anywhere.”
The physical space follows a series of initiatives in Australia, a key market in Alibaba’s global growth plans. Last year Alibaba started courting Australian brands, stating at the time that Chinese customers were interested in healthy, fresh and organic credentials. It also follows a $20m donation from the Jack Ma Foundation to the University of Newcastle in Australia for a new scholarship programme, aimed at helping disadvantaged children get education.
The office will be led by Maggie Zhou, managing director of Alibaba ANZ, and will aim to serve 1,300 Australian and 400 New Zealand businesses, according to the announcement.