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Ambitions of Online Shopping Behemoth Alibaba Revealed

30 September 2019 - 09:04 by Graham Miller

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Although Amazon may be the biggest name in safe shopping online in the West, Chinese consumers are far more familiar with home0grown success story Alibaba, a brand that has recently revealed its intentions to grow rapidly over the next half decade.

By the year 2024 the site aims to sell products to one billion users a year, generating the equivalent of more than £1.1 trillion in the process.

Based on its current performance this should be more than achievable, as in the past 12 months it has racked up around 730 million domestic customers operating on an active basis, with a further 130 million shoppers making purchases on its site from other parts of the world.

Of course, this is not the first time that Alibaba’s impressive targets have been outlined in public, with earlier estimates from the company suggesting that in the long run it could find favour with two billion people - over a quarter of the globe’s total population.

The concept of a single retailer entity being able to serve such a huge swathe of shoppers has only become a reality in the age of online shopping, since in combination with the power of international shipping it is possible for anyone with a web-enabled device to order from almost any country.

For the time being it seems unlikely that Amazon will be dethroned in the UK and other parts of the West, but the threat posed by Alibaba is not one that it will overlook, nor one which consumers should ignore. Alibaba lacks the infrastructure to compete with Amazon or any number of other online retailers that operate on British soil in many respects at the moment, but that is not to say that it will not make more direct attempts to penetrate this market in the future.