Tokyo, May 18, 2016 - Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA) today welcomed nearly 200 leading Japanese brands and manufacturers to the official kickoff meeting of its new Japan Merchandising Center, an event organized to help improve local merchants' understanding of how they can benefit from this initiative to get better access to e-commerce market in China and Asia.
Japanese companies attending the event included those operating in popular sectors amongst Chinese consumers, such as baby and maternity products, cosmetics, health food and toiletry products.
The new center, announced in February this year and known as the Japan MD Center, aims at providing comprehensive support to Japanese brands and manufacturers with plans to tap into the vast Chinese and other Asian e-commerce markets. Alibaba.com Japan Co. Ltd. ("Alibaba Japan"), a joint venture between Alibaba Group and SoftBank Group Corp., will lead this initiative locally in Japan.
Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group, and Makoto Koyama, CEO of Alibaba Japan, attended the launch. Representatives from Shiseido, Askul, HABA, MTG, Kyowa, Japan Gateway and Unicharm shared their experiences, and discussed future development in China and other overseas markets leveraging Alibaba's China e-commerce platforms - Tmall and Tmall Global, China's top online destinations for domestic and foreign branded merchandise.
"Alibaba Group has a goal to serve two billion consumers, and we hope to partner with Japanese brands and retailers that share an interest to expand their global market presence," said Daniel Zhang. "Japan is an important market for Alibaba's globalization strategy, because it offers world-class, high-quality products in popular demand by Chinese consumers. Through the Japan MD Center initiative, we aim to empower Japanese brands and retailers to enter the Chinese and Asian markets with a cross-border e-commerce solution that best serves their interest and needs."
Masayoshi Son, representative of SoftBank Group, also sent a video message to welcome the launch of the center. He commented: "E-commerce is rapidly growing in Asia. With the e-commerce platforms that Alibaba Group and the SoftBank Group are involved in, including Tmall in China, Lazada in Southeast Asia and Snapdeal in India, we already serve approximately three billion consumers. Alibaba Group and the SoftBank Group are committed to supporting Japanese merchants grow and succeed via our platforms. The Japan MD Center has been established to further support Japanese merchants with product planning, sales, distribution and promotion in e-commerce to significantly expand their business in China and other Asian markets."
The center aims to offer Japanese merchants opening online stores on Tmall.com and Tmall Global product selection, sales channel setup, and marketing support to meet the needs of Chinese consumers. Drawing on Alibaba Group's trove of data on consumer behavior in China, the center helps merchants to tailor and market the right merchandise to match the needs of Chinese consumers and ultimately boost sales.
Commenting on the Japan MD Center, Makoto Koyama said: "It is an innovative service to help solve issues that Japanese merchants face when developing their business in the Chinese and the Asian e-commerce market. The Japan MD Center will also offer the latest trends of China e-commerce market and Chinese consumer needs. We are dedicated to contribute to Japanese merchant's product development for the Chinese market."
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 status and conduct commerce with hundreds of millions of consumers and other businesses.
About Alibaba Japan
Alibaba Japan is a joint venture between Alibaba Group and Softbank Group to support the overseas business development of Japanese companies and to reinvigorate the Japanese economy. Alibaba Japan offers exhibitors support on Alibaba.com (B2B), Tmall and Tmall Global (B2C). In addition, through the new Japan MD center, we offer sales support across China and other Asian markets.
Launched in April 2008, Tmall.com (www.tmall.com) is dedicated to providing a premium shopping experience for increasingly sophisticated Chinese consumers in search of top-quality branded merchandise. A large number of international and Chinese brands and retailers have established storefronts on Tmall.com. According to iResearch, Tmall.com was China's largest platform for brands and retailers in terms of gross merchandise volume in 2014. Tmall.com is a business within Alibaba Group.
About Tmall Global
Launched in February 2014, Tmall Global (www.tmall.hk) is an overseas platform and an extension of Alibaba Group's B2C Tmall business, which enables overseas merchants to enter China's online retail market. By joining Tmall Global, merchants can conduct business from overseas without the need for physical operations within mainland China. International brands on Tmall Global benefit from the exposure to the hundreds of millions of visitors on Taobao Marketplace and Tmall.com. Through Tmall Global, Chinese consumers have access to a variety of branded products sourced and fulfilled from outside mainland China.