Alibaba's Jack Ma looks to work with Indian businesses

26 November 2014

The company recently created history with the world's biggest initial public offering that raised $21.8 billion, giving it a market valuation of $231.4 billion (See: Alibaba zooms on trading debut).

It has little presence in India, where homegrown companies like Flipkart and Snapdeal dominated the e-commerce space.

Alibaba's limited presence in India had not deterred Indian businesses from taking to the company's platform in a big way, Ma said today.

He said Indian suppliers were smart and ranked second after Chinese suppliers even though Alibaba's site had not been designed for Indians.

Over 400,000 Chinese consumers bought things from India and spices, chocolates and tea from the country was in great demand in China, he added.

India had great products it could sell through Alibaba platform to China, according to Ma, who counts among the world's richest billionaires with an estimated wealth of nearly $30 billion.

Stressing on India's young population, he said that internet was a young business and was a business of young people.

"If China can work with India, both nations can benefit a lot. We will work with Indian entrepreneurs and technologies to improve the relationship of two nations," he added.

Ma was speaking at the India-China (ZHEJIANG) Business Cooperation Conference here today, Business Line reported.

In his short address, Ma touched upon a number key points, including greater engagement with Indian business. Ma did not elaborate on what kind of business tie-ups he was looking for nor the kind of policy changes he would seek in India's e-commerce space.

He said he did not realise just how popular were Indian chocolates in China, and expected his platform to have more Indian products with his increasing India engagement.
Regarding his meeting with Indian e-commerce players, including Snapdeal, sources said it was more because Softbank was a common investor.

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