Hangzhou, China, May 16, 2014 － The government of France and Alibaba Group today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to foster greater export opportunities for French businesses seeking to sell to hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers via Alibaba Group's Tmall.com online retail platform and related businesses. This event highlights the unique momentum of the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations between China and France. Under the three-year agreement pursuant to the MOU, Alibaba Group will provide French companies with express enrollment support for Tmall.com, dedicated services as well as online promotion and marketing support on the platform. In return, UBIFRANCE and the Invest in France Agency, the government entities charged with execution of this agreement, will work with partners and private sector experts to help increase the volume of French exports to China among companies seeking to grow their businesses through e-commerce, in addition to peer-to-peer mentoring.
"This agreement is a wonderful opportunity to allow more and more Chinese customers to discover new French brands through a modern system of distribution." said French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius during a stop at Alibaba Group's Xixi Campus in Hangzhou, who initiated the agreement with Alibaba Group Executive Chairman Jack Ma. "We are confident it will significantly widen the choice of French products available for Chinese consumers who will enjoy their well-deserved reputation of high quality and security."
"Our mission is to help make it easy to do business anywhere," said Ma, who first discussed the possibility of this agreement with Foreign Minister Fabius during a visit to Paris in March. "This MOU is an example of how Alibaba Group can work hand-in-hand with foreign trade entities to grow global cross-border trade that will benefit both global businesses and Chinese consumers through our marketplaces and our ecosystem."
Under the agreement, Alibaba Group's related company Alipay and its affiliated company China Smart Logistics, are committed to support Alibaba Group's endeavors with their payment remittance and logistics capabilities, respectively.
Immediately following the signing of this agreement, Tmall.com will initiate a promotion to highlight French brands with flagship stores on the platform. The week-long "Elegance of France" campaign, beginning May 19, will showcase French lifestyle to Chinese consumers through exclusive product launches and specialty limited-edition items from the featured French brands.
More than 30 French brands with flagship Tmall.com storefronts will participate in the campaign, from fashion and beauty, to food and home accessories. A sample of the brands include L'Oréal, evian, Biotherm, Lacoste, Le coq sportif, La Redoute, Cache Cache and Clarins.
The MOU entered into among UBIFRANCE, Invest in France Agency and Alibaba Group MOU is the latest example of e-commerce facilitating new opportunities for global businesses to expand beyond existing borders.
About Alibaba Group
Alibaba Group's mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. The company is the largest online and mobile commerce company in the world in terms of gross merchandise volume. Founded in 1999, the company provides the fundamental technology infrastructure and marketing reach to help businesses leverage the power of the Internet to establish an online presence and conduct commerce with hundreds of millions of consumers and other businesses.
Alibaba Group's major businesses include:
Alibaba Group also provides payment and escrow services on its marketplaces through its association with Alipay (www.alipay.com), a related company of Alibaba Group.
Through China Smart Logistics, a 48%-owned affiliate, Alibaba Group, operates a central logistics information system that connects a network of express delivery companies in China.
UBIFRANCE, the French Agency for International Business Development, reports to the French Ministry of Economy and Finance as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is thus at the very heart of governmental export support framework.
With a network of 80 agencies in 70 different countries, UBIFRANCE can offer a comprehensive range of services to facilitate the development of French companies in foreign markets:
About the Invest in France Agency
Invest in France Agency (IFA) promotes and facilitates international investment in France. The IFA network operates worldwide. IFA works in partnership with regional development agencies to offer international investors business opportunities and customized services all over France. For more information, please visit www.investinfrance.org