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Learn more, the international online wholesale marketplace of Alibaba Group Holding, will collaborate with authorities in Hangzhou to further develop cross-border e-commerce activities in the city. Photo: Shutterstock

Alibaba to scale up cross-border e-commerce activities, engage more local exporters in joint campaign with hometown Hangzhou

  • Alibaba and the Hangzhou Cross-Border E-Commerce Comprehensive Pilot Zone agreed to jointly develop a number of brands and enterprises
  • Their campaign reflects renewed optimism after China’s exports beat expectations in June, growing 17. 9 per cent year on year to US$331.3 billion
Alibaba Group Holding is ratcheting up efforts to boost its cross-border e-commerce operations through a new campaign with authorities in Hangzhou, capital of eastern Zhejiang province, with the aim of helping more Chinese exporters expand in overseas markets amid weak consumption on the mainland.

Alibaba and the Hangzhou Cross-Border E-Commerce Comprehensive Pilot Zone on Thursday reached an agreement at an industry event in the city to help develop “a number of cross-border e-commerce brands and key enterprises” on the back of local government policy guidance and supporting measures, according to a report by state-run newspaper Economic Information Daily.

Their initiative will rely on Alibaba’s “comprehensive digital foreign trade service capabilities and local service centres”, the report said. E-commerce giant Alibaba, which is headquartered in Hangzhou, owns the South China Morning Post.

“Combined with the full-system, digital capabilities accumulated by Alibaba’s overseas digital business sector, Hangzhou is expected to be at the forefront of the benchmarking demonstration of digital transactions again,” said Zhang Kuo, president at, the group’s international online wholesale marketplace that connects Chinese and overseas suppliers with buyers abroad.

A pilot zone for cross-border e-commerce was established in Hangzhou by the government of eastern Zhejiang province in 2015. Photo: Shutterstock

Zhang credited the Hangzhou pilot zone, which was established by the Zhejiang provincial government in 2015, for its early deployment, representing the first such infrastructure dedicated to cross-border e-commerce in a Chinese city. There are now 132 of these pilot zones across the country.

Alibaba has had ties with the Hangzhou pilot zone though its various units, including global retail site AliExpress, Southeast Asian e-commerce platform Lazada, and the overseas operations of Tmall and Taobao Marketplace.
The company’s latest pact with the Hangzhou pilot zone reflects renewed optimism in the industry after China’s exports beat expectations in June, growing 17.9 per cent from a year earlier to US$331.3 billion.
That followed the gradual return to normal manufacturing activity in Shanghai and other areas in the Yangtze River Delta, where supply chains had been disrupted by Covid-19 lockdowns and other pandemic control measures.

Alibaba’s hometown, Hangzhou, to subsidise e-commerce industry’s Zhang offered a bullish outlook for China’s export sector in a live-streaming session earlier in June, when he predicted the country’s small and medium-sized exporters would remain competitive amid the growing challenge from their counterparts in Vietnam and other emerging markets.
The joint campaign of Alibaba and the Hangzhou pilot zone comes almost two months after the city announced plans to set up a special fund worth 5 billion yuan (US$741 million) as part of a 22-point programme to support e-commerce development.

Other Chinese cities have also announced plans to pick up the pace in cross-border e-commerce activity, showing broader support for economic recovery on the mainland.

The southwestern city of Chongqing last week hosted the Western China International Fair for Investment and Trade, as the city’s cross-border e-commerce trade grew nearly 90 per cent year on year during the first five months of 2022.

Changsha, capital of south central Hunan province, last week also held a cross-border e-commerce trade fair attended by more than 400 merchants.