Alibaba partners with Alipay to help US brands reach Chinese shoppers

E-commerce giant Alibaba announced a partnership with Alipay ePass, an online payment platform that will allow U.S. and other Western retailers access to Chinese shoppers. Alibaba, which went public in the United States just a few weeks ago, wants to help Westerners get to the coveted, new middle-class Chinese consumer while taking down the barriers that often make international commerce difficult.

The ePass program addresses common issues that Western retailers face when catering to a Chinese consumer including currency exchange, customs and shipping logistics, reported Upstart.

Jingming Li, Alipay's U.S. president, said in a press conference that Alipay will provide marketing assistance to U.S. retailers.

Alipay, which has an Internet payment service similar to PayPal, is in partnerships with other international companies such as H&M, Gilt and Airbnb, reported Re/code.

As many as 300 million Chinese customers have Alipay accounts--which means big opportunities for other retailers. And there is an increasing desire among Chinese shoppers for Western clothing and beauty brands.

Alibaba, a former parent company of Alipay, will provide marketing to raise awareness of the brands in China and to supply affiliated logistics companies. The partnership is expected to remove some hurdles that traditionally present themselves when shipping products to China.

"We've been there for 14 years: we know the customers, know their marketing channels," Li told the reporters. "We know how to turn a visitor into an actual shopper."

Earlier in the week Alibaba also announced a new partnership with Costco (NASDAQ:COSTCO) to sell the warehouse's goods on its T-Mall website. And just a few weeks ago, Inditex, parent company of Zara, turned over partial control of its e-commerce site to Alibaba.

For more:
-See this Upstart article
-See this Re/code article

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