PARIS, June 15 (Reuters) – Alibaba Group ( 9988.HK ) will prioritize Europe as it focuses on building local businesses and online platforms outside of China, the e-commerce company’s president said on Thursday.
“For the future, we’re going to focus more on building local businesses, so you’ll see something called TMall in China, TMall in Europe, which means we serve local brands and local customers in local markets,” JL Michael Evans told a technology conference in Paris.
“We started with a pilot project in Spain that we will expand throughout Europe.”
Alibaba announced in March that it would be split into six divisions following two years of regulatory crackdowns on China’s tech sector, most of which are either raising funds or exploring listings.
The e-commerce business is to be split, with one side serving Alibaba’s domestic e-commerce marketplaces and the other serving its overseas e-commerce marketplaces such as Lazada and AliExpress in Southeast Asia.
Taobao and TMall are major Chinese e-commerce marketplaces in China.
In the year Asked about Alibaba’s founder, Jack Ma, a prominent Chinese entrepreneur who withdrew from the public eye in late 2020 for criticizing China’s regulatory system, said Ma was Alibaba’s largest shareholder and still cares deeply about the company.
Ma left China in late 2021 and spent time in Japan, Spain, Australia and Thailand, but returned in March, a day before Alibaba announced the restructuring, according to photographs. He did not make any public comments at that time.
“Jack is alive, well, happy. He’s teaching at Tokyo University and spending a lot of time in China,” Evans said.
“He is the largest shareholder in Alibaba. This is his company. He still cares about this company as much as he did when it started, and I expect that will continue as long as Alibaba and Jack Ma are here.”
Reporting by Silvia Aloysi; Editing by Benoit van Overstratten and Jason Neely
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