Alibaba encourages Canadian SME growth in China

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Alibaba encourages Canadian SME growth in China
The e-commerce giant undertakes a host of workshops designed to help and encourage Canadian companies build their sales strategies in China.

On 11th May, Alibaba concluded the Canadian leg of its US roadshow in Vancouver by holding an all-day event that triumphs the Chinese marketplace as a key channel for Canadian SME expansion.

This followed two earlier events held in Montreal and Toronto that strived to position Alibaba’s leading cross-border B2C platform, Tmall Global, as a key springboard for Canadian sellers.

Why China?

Merchants are pinpointing the Chinese consumer market as a core platform for its engagement and growth, particularly as it is set to achieve $2 tn (€1.7 tn) in new consumption​ by 2021. It also earmarks foreign brands and product ranges to help it reach this anticipated amount.

“Canada has an abundance of products, as well as experiences, that Chinese consumers want, including in the fresh-food and travel and tourism categories,”​ encouraged Steve Wang, general manager of Alibaba Group North America.

“We want to bring high-quality Canadian products to Chinese consumers and bring the Chinese tourists to experience Canada,”​ stated Wang.

Strategic opportunities: A year on

In 2017, Alibaba hosted Gateway Canada in Toronto to indicate the many options for small and large brands to generate interest in their product and service ranges.  

At the 3,000-strong event, Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group and Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, held keynote speeches to boost China’s relationship with Canada.   

“Creating a prosperous future and good jobs for British Columbians takes a network of strategic partnerships. Today’s event marks the beginning of what I hope will be a new era of partnership with the Alibaba Group and Tmall Global,”​ said Bruce Ralston, British Columbia’s Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology.

A number of Canadian brands have already launched on the Tmall Global platform to successfully sell into China.

Going online

“Alibaba is an ideal platform for any new brands to start a business in China,”​ noted Arvin Wang, director of Sinova Group. Sinova is the owner of JustOrder, a company that supports overseas companies get into the China market. 

“It’s a powerful ecosystem in China, and can cover various demands from the brands, like branding, marketing, supply chain management,”​ Wang added.

Made in China

In a recent Q&A interview by Alibaba, the e-commerce leader asked Alvin Liu, general manager of Tmall Global Import & Export, how Canadian brands can up their engagement with Chinese consumers.

“‘Made in Canada’ is a label that needs no explanation because it is a globally known fact that Canadian-made products are high in quality, durable, safe and offer good value for money. Chinese consumers are becoming more curious, discerning and sophisticated in their tastes, and products from Canada meet the demands of what they are looking for”​, including health and beauty, Liu revealed.

“Tmall Global’s mission is to be the bridge that connects high-quality foreign products with Chinese consumers, and our efforts would not be complete without products from Canada,”​ Liu added.

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