The concept of “New Retail,” which was created by Jack Ma Yun, Alibaba Group Holding’s founder and chairman, in late October, is gaining momentum in the domestic markets. Hema Xiansheng, Alibaba’s newly founded online-to-offline platform, is putting the novel retail business model into practice, an effort experts say is changing China’s traditional retail sector. Despite its large growth potential, the new retail sector still faces many challenges and uncertainties…Full Article: July 2017

Key Points

  • As of July 2017, Alibaba had opened 13 Hema Fresh Stores (primarily in Shanghai) in China, including two in Beijing. During a visit to a Shanghai-based store, Alibaba Group’s Chairman (Jack Ma) noted it was stocked with king crab and Boston lobster.
  • In March 2015, Alibaba Group established its first Hema Fresh Store (aka Hema Xiansheng) in Shanghai. Hema Fresh is an online-to-offline (O2O) supermarket chain that sells a variety of food products including seafood (live and frozen), meat, vegetables, wine, and dairy products.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In June 2017, during the Gateway business conference in Detroit, Alibaba Group (Tmall) signed Memorandum of Understanding agreements with USA’s Driscoll’s (strawberries) and Chicken of the Sea International (canned seafood).
  • In May 2017, Alibaba Group signed a MoU agreement with Argentina in Buenos Aires. As a result of the MoU, Argentinian agriculture goods may be distributed/marketed via Alibaba’s Tmall.
  • In March 2017, Germany’s ALDI supermarket chain announced it was partnering with Alibaba’s Tmall Global. ALDI Australia, a low-priced bulk distributor, will likely focus on selling wine, snacks, and breakfast products in China. Also during this month, Alibaba announced it would purchase an 18% stake in Lianhua Supermarket Holdings from, a fresh produce e-commerce platform (see Suning). will retain a 1.17% stake in Lianhua.
  • Launched in 2008 and owned by Alibaba Group, was spun off from Taobao.
  • Launched in 2003 and owned by Alibaba Group, Taobao is an e-commerce platform that sells a variety of products (e.g. clothing, appliances, electronics, healthcare products, and more) directly to the consumer.

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