Alibaba expansion plan targets 2 billion customers

Chinese eCommerce pioneer Jack Ma has unveiled an Alibaba expansion plan aiming to quadruple its customer numbers to 2 billion by 2036.

Alibaba is also aiming for a record 6 trillion yuan (US$912 billion) in gross merchandise volume (GMV) in 2020 from 3.09 trillion yuan this year.

Ma has also pledged to intensify the fight against counterfeit products and intellectual property rights violation, saying the company is more confident than ever it can solve the problem.

Alibaba became the world’s largest retailer (by its own definition of retailer) in April, surpassing Walmart. The company says its online trading accounts for 10 per cent of all retailing in China and has generated 15 million jobs.

Alibaba, whose gross sales totalled $9.3 billion in 2014, hit a record $14.3 billion in sales on Singles’ Day alone last year, a Chinese holiday in November. This is more than double the eCommerce sales in the US from Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

The company also holds the title of the biggest IPO in history, raising $25 billion in four days in September 2014, $7 billion more than Visa and $9 billion more than Facebook and General Motors.

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