Alibaba lands in Europe18/12/2018

Alibaba invests 75 Million Euros at Liège Airport for its first European logistics center, particularly to meet the demand of the Chinese Middle Class for European products. The first cargo airplanes left Hangzhou for Liège shortly before November 11, which is the annual Chinese ‘Singles Day’ created by Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba. This new logistics center in Wallonia is expected to cover about 50 acres.  So far, no exact date has been set forth for the beginning of the activities.  Alibaba is expected to open other logistics centers in Moscow, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur in order to expand its Cainiao operations.  In the long run, the Chinese Group wants to be able to make deliveries everywhere in the world within 72 hours.   

According to Christian Delcourt, spokesperson for the Liège Airport, the arrival of this new logistics center could « create hundreds of jobs in the Liège area ».  Prime Minister Charles Michel thinks that « it is a very strong signal because it shows that companies are placing Belgium on the digital map.  It will impact job creation and investments ». Pierre-Yves Jeholet, Wallonia’s Minister of Economy also stressed the « enormous potential for development that the Liège Airport represents, a major stake for European logistics ».  Wallonia’s Export and Investment Agency (Awex) played a major role in this agreement, according to Michel Kempeneers, in charge of Overseas Markets for Awex. Mr. Kempeneers adds that « the investment of Cainiao/Alibaba in Wallonia is definitely part of a much larger project: the Electronic World Trade Platform – eWTP ».    

Often called "the Chinese Amazon", Alibaba is a world giant of e-commerce.  The Chinese conglomerate is among the most important market capitalizations in the world.  Today, Alibaba is present in various industries, from plane tickets to the delivery of prepared meals. The Group recorded the highest sales in the whole history of e-commerce on Sunday, November 11, the ‘Singles Day’ invented by Alibaba, with record sales of 30 Billion Dollars in 24 hours.