Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba plans to enter the Indian e-commerce sector in 2016, to compete with Amazon and home-grown Flipkart, Indian media reported.
“We have been exploring very carefully the e-commerce opportunity in this country, which we think is very exciting against the backdrop of Digital India,” Alibaba Group President Michael Evans said after his meeting with India’s communications and information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad last Friday.
Alibaba was founded by Jack Ma in the Southeast Chinese city of Hangzhou in 1999. The company operates online marketplaces for both international and domestic trades. It has made investments in India’s top e-commerce companies including Paytm and Snapdeal.
“I see great potential in this country,” Ma said publicly. “India has a large and young population and its online retailing market is just at its starting stage.”
Alibaba will be competing with existing online retailers in India including Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal. How the competition develops will depend on whether Alibaba enters on its own or along with companies it has invested in.
“E-commerce is growing at 50% plus in India, which shows the potential of a big aspirational market,” Prasad said. “We will give Alibaba full cooperation.”
Alibaba announced on Monday that its China retail marketplace real-time gross merchandise volume (GMV) in fiscal 2016 surpassed Amazon, reaching RMB three trillion (USD 476 billion).
(Top photo from photo from Ebrun.com)