Jack Ma, founder of world's largest e-commerce firm Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, has said the group will set up an international version of its e-commerce marketplace Taobao. He was speaking at the sidelines of an event, Reuters reports.
The new portal aims to serve buyers from across the globe in multiple languages that include English and Chinese. It is not immediately clear if the firm plans to launch the portal in India.
Overseas firms are allowed to run marketplaces in India but not get into direct e-commerce. However, the single largest investor in Alibaba, SoftBank, has just backed Snapdeal in India. Snapdeal is a pure marketplace unlike its two biggest peers Flipkart and Amazon, who have indirect affiliates also as a vendor on the sites.
Currently, Alibaba has an international consumer marketplace Aliexperess specialising in wholesale goods. However, Aliexpress does not have a consumer-facing platform.
Alibaba is the largest online and mobile commerce company in the world in terms of gross merchandise volume (GMV). The company operates its ecosystem as a platform for third parties and does not engage in direct sales, compete with its merchants or hold inventory. Besides Taobao, the firm runs also runs Tmall, China's largest third-party platform for brands and retailers, and Juhuasuan, China's most popular group buying marketplace by its monthly active users. It also operates Alibaba.com, China's largest global online wholesale marketplace.
Alibaba recently raised a record $25 billion from its initial public offer (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange.