Alibaba Australia discusses listing apartments to Chinese consumers

Alibaba Australia discusses listing apartments to Chinese consumers
Alibaba Australia discusses listing apartments to Chinese consumers

Alibaba Australia are looking at listing apartments on its platform for Chinese consumers in Australia.

Following the launch of its first Australia office in Melbourne on Saturday, the $328 billion, US-listed company have discussed including realestate on their platform.

The e-commerce platform focuses on small businesses selling products popular with Chinese consumers, such as agricultural products and vitamins.

John O'Loghlen, Alibaba's Australia New Zealand business development director told the Australian Financial Review that it has been discussed internally.

"This space is [currently] well serviced by the market and the Monika Tu's of the world and they do a good job," he told the AFR.

"Our focus is on small businesses but we've discussed it [selling real estate].

"It is possible, as it is an area that is changing so fast.

"Alipay is the dominant platform for these transactions, but it is important that the Australian and Chinese tax bureaucracies are transparent.
 
"We are incredibly aware of the flows of money that it will attract."
 
The plans would not be immediate.

Alibaba has shown interest in recent months in the property section, making a $3.5 billion bid for Intime Retail Group, a Chinese department store chain.

It will allow Alibaba's online customers to pick up orders from stores quicker with access to the department store's inventory.

Executive chairman and founder Jack Ma told the Financial Review that there were no immediate plans to buy a shopping centre in Australia.

He did suggest however that he believes there should be an alignment of online and offline shopping businesses.

"For sure one thing is Chinese people like Australian products, but demand is still huge," he told the AFR at the launch in Melbourne on Saturday.

"When we build new retail, we want to combine online and offline together.

"I don't believe pure online businesses can last forever.

"So, while our businesses grew tremendously last quarter, we also saw the decline of traditional retail." 

There are only two Chinese platforms that would rival Alibaba's interests, ACProperty.com.au, sister site Sodichan.com and Juwai.com's new platform with Tencent.

Alibaba's immediate focus will be on getting small businesses onto the platform.

"Australia has the potential to do business with China," Ma said.

There are 500,000 Chinese [nationals] in Sydney and 300,000 in Melbourne.

"These people love Australia and Australian products and they also understand the Chinese market."

 

 

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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Chinese Buyers Alibaba

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