China’s internet trading giant, Alibaba, has reached exclusive agreements with international companies that will handle their online retailing in China only through Alibaba’s Tmall, the local equivalent to Amazon.
It is said that the deals include French mega sporting goods retail chain, Décathlon, the Spanish big player in fashion, Inditex (Zara), as well as Timberland, one of the many brands controlled by the Greensboro, North Carolina-based apparel behemoth VF Corporation. Another exclusive partner is now E-Land, the big South Korean group.
Reaction to increasingly tough competition
It was also hinted that Alibaba seeks to improve its relationship with some 160 other global brands (including Adidas) on a non-exclusive basis. Observers say that Alibaba needs to take action to face the increasingly fierce competition from other Chinese players like JD.com. The stock value of Alibaba has fallen by some 35 percent after the all-time high in the sequence of the group’s tremendous initial public offering at Wall Street last fall.
Alibaba has now reacted with the purchase of a 20 percent stake in Suning, a big Chinese retailer of consumer electronic goods. JD’s stock softened by more than 4 percent after Alibaba’s announcement of the investment worth some $4.63 billion in that company.