Economic review

Alibaba, Ford explore new retail opportunities via Tmall platform

2017-12-08 09:42:00 (Beijing Time)         Global Times/Agencies

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E-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding has signed a deal with Ford Motor Co to explore cooperation in areas such as cloud computing, connectivity and retail, which could involve the sale of Ford cars on Alibaba's online retail platform Tmall.

Alibaba on Thursday said that digital marketing-focused Alimama and operating system provider AliOS will be among the subsidiaries working with Ford under the three-year agreement.

One idea under consideration is the sale of Ford cars on Tmall, an Alibaba spokeswoman said. Reuters on Wednesday reported that Ford planned to sign such a deal as it overhauls its China strategy to stimulate growth.

"The agreement aims to explore new ways to redefine how consumers purchase and own vehicles, as well as how to leverage digital channels to identify new retail opportunities," Alibaba said in a statement sent to the Global Times.

The Chinese e-commerce company and U.S. automaker will initially "explore a pilot study" for new retail opportunities, Alibaba said.

Ford's sales in China in the first 10 months of this year were 938,570, a decline of 5 percent from the same period in 2016, against a 2.2 percent gain to 3.13 million for U.S. rival General Motors.