Beijing: Marking a significant development in the e-commerce market, Chinese giant Alibaba has on Monday said it has crossed a major milestone, hitting the 3 trillion RMB ($463 billion) in trade volume transacted over its China retail marketplaces in under a year.
“Today, with 10 days remaining in our fiscal year ending March 2016, Alibaba’s China retail marketplace platforms surpassed RMB 3 trillion in GMV ($476 billion),” Joe Tsai, Alibaba Group Executive Vice Chairman said in a blog post on Monday.
The trade volume achieved ahead of the financial year closing places it in a favourable position to surpass US-based Walmart as the world’s largest e-commerce player.
WalMart Stores Inc had posted net sales of USD 478.6 billion for its fiscal year ending Jan 31, while the latest trading volume figure for Alibaba amounted to three trillion yuan (USD 463.3 billion), the company said yesterday.
It is equivalent to China's Sichuan province's gross domestic product (GDP) last year, when the province's GDP ranked sixth on the Chinese mainland, state-run China Daily reported today.
Zhang Yong, the company's CEO, said in Hangzhou that the figure was recorded on the company's business-to-customer platform Tmall, consumer-to-consumer platforms Taobao and Rural Taobao, and group-buying site Juhuasuan.
Zhang said he expected the company will achieve an annual trading volume of six trillion yuan by 2020 (about USD 980 billion) and that "in 2024, we wanted to be a business platform serving 2 billion consumers and tens of millions of enterprises at home and abroad."
According to Zhang, the company will strive to combine cloud computing and big data technologies with the Internet and the Internet of Things, as well as consumer terminal equipment, to spur its development.
Alibaba said that its key efforts in 2016 will be to expand its products and service offerings in China, elevate its efforts to push into rural China and make imported products more accessible to Chinese consumers. According to Tsai, its rural China initiative is already bearing fruit, so far reaching 12,000 of China’s 600,000 villages.
Despite its economic growth falling below 7 per cent (USD 6.9 per cent) for the first time since 2009, China surpassed the United States last year to become the largest e-commerce market in the world, according to statistics from multinational consultancy Forrester Research Inc. Chinese government has fixed 6.5 to seven per cent GDP target for this year.
(With PTI inputs)