Alibaba pledges to invest US$2 billion in Turkey via online platform Trendyol, as growth gathers steam
- The Istanbul-headquartered unit continues to expand internationally, with a move into Azerbaijan in May
- Alibaba’s international commerce unit has become the fastest-growing operation of the Hangzhou-based e-commerce giant
Alibaba Group Holding has said it plans to invest US$2 billion in Turkey, as the Chinese e-commerce giant doubles down on fast growth after its online retail platform Trendyol made an operating profit in the country for the first time between April and June this year.
In a meeting with Turkey president Tayyip Erdogan, Alibaba president Michael Evans said the company plans to invest US$2 billion in Turkey via its Trendyol platform, according to a statement by the Turkish platform.
Between April 1, 2022 and March 31 2023, Trendyol’s order growth jumped 47 per cent year on year, while its gross merchandise volume climbed 110 per cent in local currency terms, according to an article published on Trendyol’s news website.
The Istanbul-headquartered unit continues to expand internationally, with a move into Azerbaijan in May, following a launch in Germany last year, according to the company’s website article.
Trendyol was founded by Turkish entrepreneur Demet Mutlu in 2010 and in 2018 Alibaba made a US$728 million investment in the platform. It later invested another US$350 million, taking its stake to 86.5 per cent. The company serves more than 30 million consumers and hosts over 250,000 merchants who sell around 200 million products on the platform in Turkey.
In May 2022, Trendyol opened an office in Berlin, its first outside Turkey. The company attracted 1 million customers in its first year of operation in Germany, according to the company’s website.
Alibaba’s international commerce unit has become the fastest-growing operation of the Hangzhou-based e-commerce giant. The unit reported 41 per cent revenue growth for the quarter that ended June 30, much faster than overall group revenue growth. Alibaba also owns the South China Morning Post.
Jiang Fan, previously demoted after an investigation into an alleged extramarital affair turned into a major public relations crisis, now leads the international commerce unit. He cemented his status as one of the e-commerce giant’s most promising executives with his return as the youngest member of its partnership – a supreme corporate governance body with the right to nominate directors – earlier this year.
Alibaba is also ratcheting up efforts to expand its business in the US by adding features such as an updated image search on its cross-border wholesale platform.
Alibaba.com, the company’s original cross-border business-to-business (B2B) platform, is holding a “Co-Create” event in Las Vegas on Thursday and Friday, with chief technology officer Yang Zhou and vice-president Andrew Zheng attending. The event brings together business enthusiasts, B2B professionals, and industry experts, the platform said.