The China-based Alibaba Group has recently entered into partnerships with the embassies of Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica and Mexico to introduce products from the region to buyers in China, a company spokeswoman said.
¨The partnerships with these embassies will help bring products from Latin America to the 350 million active users on our various platforms. Our focus over the next few years will be on globalizing our platforms and bringing more products directly to consumers in China,¨ said Pamela Munoz, a company spokeswoman, in an emailed message.
¨In the past few years, China has seen tremendous growth and consumers are looking for quality products from abroad, often offered at a premium,¨ she added, saying that those Latin American countries' embassies are part of an accord that in total involves 26 embassies from different countries in the world. So far, those are the only Latin American embassies participating.
The initiative includes the Juhuasuan platform, one of the major platforms of Alibaba Group, and the aim is ¨to help with the marketing and promotion of those countries’ local products,¨ she said.
The Juhuasuan platform has already been used to successfully offer Latin American products in China, she added. For example, in February Ecuadorean roses were offered to consumers in China during a Valentine's Day promotion, at a premium.
At that time, Juhuasuan sold 2,997 roses during Feb. 4-6 in boxes each containing three roses each with a card and a bear toy for the equivalent of US $83 each box, according to information sent by Munoz.
Of all roses sold by Juhuasuan for the holiday, which included some from other countries, those coming from Ecuador covered the longest distance to reach consumers at 10,000 miles. They were sold at a premium in part thanks to a promotion which offered them as unique, exotic gifts grown in a remote volcanic region located well over 9,000 feet above sea level.
Trade between China and Latin America has much room to expand, according to the information. For example, the exports from Ecuador to China represent only 1.7 percent of the total. China is the 12th biggest trade partner of Ecuador, lagging well behind other buyers of Ecuadorean products such as Germany, Panama or Chile.
The Juhuasuan portal is described by Alibaba as the most popular online group buying marketplace in China, based on monthly active users.
¨Alibaba Group is a very big organization with many different platforms, each with their own focus and different consumer base. Latin American consumers and small business owners are most familiar with Alibaba.com (B2B) and AliExpress (B2C). However, we are working with industries, governments and trade associations,¨ Munoz said in her email.