Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s founder Jack Ma introduced his new globalization plan aimed to engage small US businesses in cross-border commerce with China on June 9 in New York. For Ma, the new strategy is “simple and clear”: to help small US businesses thrive in the Chinese market by adding 10 million small businesses to its platform in 10 years. Alibaba hopes the deal—paired with faster delivery services—will help it triple its product volume to reach $1 trillion in gross sales by 2019.
Chinese citizens covet “status” American products and are often willing to pay a premium to get them. By facilitating the sale of American products from small businesses to the Chinese middle class (the size of the entire US population), Alibaba hopes to increase its foreign sales revenue from two to 40 percent according to Bloomberg.
Large corporations selling clothing, personal care, and baby products like Macy’s, Inc. and Costco Wholesale Corporation have already teamed up with Alibaba and seen positive growth; cross-border purchases by Chinese shoppers led by American merchants have grown from less than $2 billion in 2010 to over $20 billion in 2014.
Ma hopes that engaging small US businesses in addition to large corporations will support bilateral relations and foster growth in the United States, helping his company’s bottom-line in the long term.