F.Y.I.

Alibaba Group promotes Australian products with seven Chinese influencers

Seven Chinese e-commerce influencers are set to tour Australia with the Alibaba Group, promoting Australia’s products and lifestyle to Chinese consumers.

The announcement:

Melbourne, 22 March, 2017 – Alibaba Group has welcomed seven leading Chinese e-commerce influencers to Australia to promote the nation’s products and lifestyle to Chinese consumers.

The tour, which will be documented on Chinese social media platforms, like Weibo and Youku, is designed to create further demand for local exporters. The tour comes at a time when Australian brands are evolving from simply establishing online stores, to becoming truly immersed in global consumers lives through social media and other digital channels.

The seven influencers have been chosen from ‘Alibaba Passport’ (APASS), a more than 100,000-strong member group of highly active Chinese consumers who spend more than US$35,000 across Alibaba’s platforms annually.

Speaking on the eve of the tour, APASS member Qing Cheng said, “the way Chinese consumers learn about brands and shop has been completely revolutionised by the Internet. From halfway across the world you can now understand where a product is sourced, how it is made and which of your favourite celebrities use it. Increased knowledge has led to a thirst for quality, and visiting Australia this week will let me report back to my followers on which brands are innovating and offering something unique.”

The APASS members are also joined by leading online personalities, Anthony and Adam&Eve, who both have around three million followers on Weibo, and Chinese supermodel and designer, Mary Ma.

As part of an eleven-day tour of Australia the influencers will visit the Brown Brothers winery in Victoria’s King Valley, and receive a product introduction to Nutri-Brex. The tour will also visit Macka’s Australian Black Angus Beef facility near Newcastle, Ostelin on the Gold Coast, Swisse in Melbourne and a lunch hosted by Alibaba Ambassador and founder of Jessica’s Suitcase Tmall Global store, Jessica Rudd.

Brands supporting the tour include Swisse, Sanitarium, Brown Brothers, Mackas Beef, and Sanofi Consumer Healthcare. Trade Victoria is collaborating on the trip as part of a drive to showcase the best of Victoria’s fashion industry, attract more tourists from China and help Victorian businesses access the massive Chinese ecommerce market.

Managing Director of Alibaba Australia & New Zealand Maggie Zhou said: “This tour is an opportunity to showcase Australia’s world-class lifestyle, our strongest asset in China. Chinese shoppers are very interested in what celebrities and influencers are buying, what they are doing, what they are eating, and what they wear. People also want to try new brands, and have someone they know recommend it to them. This is part of a broader desire for lifestyle changes in China, which Australia can be at the heart of.”

Brett Charlton, General Manager Sanofi Consumer Healthcare Australia (makers of Ostelin) said: “We look forward to providing APASS members with a truly authentic Australian experience on the Gold Coast and showing them how our Queensland-made products can support their wellbeing.”

Australia’s Nutri-Brex breakfast cereal by Sanitarium has experienced strong success in since its appearance in a popular Chinese TV show Ode to Joy in May, 2016. Sanitarium Weet-Bix™ was rebranded to Nutri-Brex in China in December 2016.

As part of the tour, Alibaba Group and Trade Victoria organised for Mary Ma to participate in Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival and create videos for Youku, China’s top online video and streaming service platform. Increasingly, Australia brands are leveraging the power of celebrities on Youku to build brand awareness.

Mary Ma said: “Australia has a unique and vibrant fashion industry that continues to attract shoppers from all over the world. In China, fashion is evolving so quickly with global brands now at our fingertips and this trip is about building awareness of the latest Australian styles in China,”

Australian businesses are already among the best performing on Alibaba’s platforms, with Australia ranking as the fifth highest selling country on Tmall Global in 2016.

In February 2017, Alibaba Founder Jack Ma opened Alibaba’s ANZ headquarters in Melbourne to better service the growing number of Australian businesses selling abroad.

Source: Media release

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