While Walmart and Amazon dominate the national conversation in the US, and to an extent in Europe, Chinese giant Alibaba is one to watch, says RSR. Most of “us,” says the report, put Alibaba out of their heads, as it was hard to understand what the website stood for, and there was NO evidence of its Chinese roots.
However, a recent release, reviewed by Forbes, said that, like Amazon, Alibaba has a tech division, and it also has a financial services division. The financial services division It is called “Ant Financial Services.” The combination of the two is powering traditional brick and mortar retail stores in China, and Ant is moving into stores in the US with a Chinese clientele, says the report from RSR.
The company (Alibaba) announced that “99 Ranch Market,” an Asian Supermarket chain in the US, will accept Alipay at all its stores in North America. The justification, on the part of 99 Ranch Market, says the report, is that “Our partnership with Alipay will enable us to offer our Chinese customers traveling in the U.S. with a familiar checkout experience that minimizes stress at the register, whether its language barriers or payment concerns, while also enabling us to better connect with them and draw them into the stores.”
The expansion of Alipay has been going on since 2017, says the report, and Alibaba is doing a lot of things in brick and mortar in China, France and other countries around the world. China’s Alibaba and its divisions, while only ¼ the size of Amazon.com, has a lot of irons in the fire:
Jack Ma, CEO of Alibaba has vision, says the report, and he is unencumbered by the political strife that’s going on here in the US. European and Asian companies will ask themselves “Do I want to risk trusting my business to an American company like Amazon, or do I want to engage with a company in a more stable environment?”
Alibaba has been quietly expanding both horizontally (into new businesses like tech and finance) and vertically (into brick and mortar retailing, now and for the future), concludes the report.
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