Fresh New Zealand seafood is being shipped directly to consumers in mainland China using Alibaba Group Holding’s third-party sales platform, Tmall.com.
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise is supporting the project to promote local seafood to rural Chinese consumers. In 2015, seafood exports to China reached $484.9 million, a 14.5 percent lift on 2014. Exports of unfrozen crayfish to China rose to $288.8 million last year, while frozen fish exports were worth $140 million. China is New Zealand’s biggest export market for food and beverage products.
Tmall is a buyer-to-consumer e-commerce platform selling directly to Chinese consumers. Shipping fresh, chilled seafood to China now takes less than a week through the platform, which NZTE hopes will encourage Chinese consumers outside major cities.
“With the rising demand for high quality and fresh produce from New Zealand, we would like to supply more areas in China other than just first and second-tier cities,” said Glen Murphy, NZTE regional director for China. “With Alibaba’s enormous networks, our products are now able to access some harder to reach parts of China, and we are so glad that people in those areas can have almost the same experience as those in the first-tier cities.”
Alibaba Group was founded in 1999, and its portals primarily trade within China. In September 2014, the company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, following an initial public offering which raised upwards of US$21.8 billion and valued Alibaba at US$231 billion. The shares have dropped about 30 percent since their launch at US$92.70, and closed at US$64.86 last night.
The group had 407 million annual active buyers across its retail platforms for the three months ended Dec. 31, and 34.5 billion yuan in revenue for the quarter.