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Alibaba eyes first French logistics site, along with payments, e-commerce - Ma

French President Emmanuel Macron, shakes hands with Jack Ma or Ma Yun, chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, on his three-day state visit in Beijing, China, 9 January 2018. © Alibaba / Imaginechina

Giant Chinese e-commerce platform Alibaba intends to acquire its first-logistics property in France soon, CEO Jack Ma has said. He will soon visit the country to sign an accord on this as well as for payment solutions and e-commerce.

Speaking on the sidelines of French President Emmanuel Macron's official visit to the People's Republic this week, Ma said: "We are considering opening a logistics centre in France and are currently looking for a site and partners... I will be going to France very soon to sign a memorandum of understanding on an Alibaba partnership, including logistics, payment solutions and e-commerce."

The platform will enable Alibaba to expand the sale of domestic products in the nation. "Last year, over 1,700 French brands joined Alibaba and their average growth was 53%, that's great," Ma added.

The giant Chinese firm, which listed on the US Nasdaq market in 2015, announced last September that it had taken control of logistics unit Cainiao, and pledged to spend CNY100bn (€12.8bn) over five years to build out a global logistics network. Alibaba co-founded Cainiao in 2013, with partners including department store owner Intime Group, conglomerate Fosun and a handful of logistics firms. Cainiao oversees roughly 57m deliveries a day.

In China Alibaba has annual revenues of €23bn and over 550,000 active monthly users. The French commitment is the first concrete sign of Alibaba's distribution intentions in Europe.

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