Sina Tech, 1/19/11
Alibaba Group and its financial partners will invest between RMB 20-30 bln to construct a national warehouse network called "AliWarehouse" as part of its new distribution strategy, and aims to raise more than RMB 100 bln from the e-commerce sector to develop a national distribution system.
AliWarehouse will be overseen by Alibaba Group, which will fund construction in cooperation with industry partners, and will provide services to distribution centers, logistics companies, Taobao merchants, and independently-operated B2C e-commerce websites.
VP Tong Wenhong said ultimately AliWarehouse will establish seven major regional centers in the north, northeast, east, south, southwest, west, northwest and central regions of China. Based on the development of China's e-commerce market, the Beijing-Tianjin area in north China, the Yangtze River Delta in east China, and the Pearl River Delta in south China are considered priority regions. Tong said the initial plan is to find locations in cities in these three regions on which to construct facilities totaling 1 mln square meters of floor space per region.
Alibaba Group previously invested in two shipping companies, Stars Express and Best Logistics Technology, as well as investing in ProLogis, the distribution services subsidiary of the Government of Singapore Investment Corp (GIC), but has not previously invested in warehousing.
Alibaba subsidiary Taobao currently leases existing warehouse facilities.