Cainiao, Alibaba’s European subsidiary confirmed that Liège will become the hub of the Chinese giant for Europe. The first aircraft from Hangzhou to Liège has already landed, and the company is planning to build a warehouse whose surface is to meet the growing demand of Chinese consumers for European products.
Terry Von Bibra, Cainiao’s representative for the European market, confirmed that Liège will be the entry point of Alibaba to Europe. The Belgian city will become the hub of a Chinese giant in Europe, informs the Belgian daily L’Echo. The Chinese leader in the e-commerce market already has similar centers in cities such as Hong Kong, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, and Moscow.
As reported by Von Bibra, the first aircraft from Hangzhou to Liège landed in the days preceding November 11, which in China is celebrated as the Single’s Day. At that time, online sales recorded an increased number of orders.
A logistics center matching the giant’s needs
In connection with the meeting of representatives of Alibaba with the Dutch authorities, some media have speculated that perhaps Cainiao will locate its new hub in the Netherlands. The stakes are high because Alibaba intends to allocate 12.8 billion euros to create new logistics centers that would enable handling international parcels and delivering them to Chinese customers within 72 hours.
Von Bibra confirmed, however, that Cainiao is planning to build a European logistic center in Liège, the size of which will be 380 thousand square meters. Due to the number of parties involved in the project, the company representative did not want to reveal any details about the construction of the warehouse.
Most importantly, we have created a strong cooperation with Liège, even if the expansion of Alibaba’s activities in Europe will not end there. After some time we will look at how it works. And we will think about the possibility of creating a second or third center. It is a process that will last several years,” said Von Bibra.
Demand for European products in China will grow
The Chinese middle class is increasingly reaching for foreign products. The orders are made and processed mainly through e-commerce platforms such as Tmall (run by Alibaba Group). At the moment, there are about 300 million consumers of foreign goods. According to estimates, this number will double within the next 5 years. No wonder Cainiao wants to take advantage of this trend.
Our specialty is to facilitate international trade. We want to help European brands reach Chinese consumers,” adds Von Bibra.