Alibaba announced plans to build a network of warehouses across China, and drive major investment in logistics in that country, with the aim of allowing merchants to meet growing domestic consumption.
"It’s clear that logistics is a crucial link in the e-commerce eco-system and in order for Chinese entrepreneurs to reach their future growth goals, this sector needs to develop rapidly in China. It’s also clear that everyone involved in this sector needs to work together to accomplish this," said Alibaba Chairman and CEO Jack Ma. "Hopefully within 10 years’ time, anyone placing an order online from anywhere in China will receive their goods within eight hours, allowing for the virtual urbanization of every village across China. In order to achieve this, we will need to establish a modern, 21st century logistics network."
Alibaba and its financing partners will commit between US$3.01 billion and $4.52 billion to the initiative, and hopes to spark a grand total of over 15.05 billion in investment from other partners within the e-commerce ecosystem.
"Creating a network of warehouse facilities is a key tactic in our strategy to resolve the bottleneck facing the logistics industry in China," said Zhang Wei, Alibaba SVP and head of the company’s strategic investment team.
"In the other areas of the logistic industry, Alibaba Group will mainly participate through investments aimed at helping our working partners to accelerate their own growth," added Wei. "We very much encourage participation in the logistics industry from members of the investment community. We will work with everyone in an open, dynamic and win-win environment to achieve this important goal of ensuring Chinese merchants are able to get their products to customers as quickly and efficiently as possible."
The company says usage of its warehouse facilities will be a service available to all, including partners in the logistics industry, Taobao (a Chinese shopping site) sellers, and independent B2C websites.