The South China Morning Post reports that Alibaba founder Jack Ma has identified his vision calling for a universal global online platform that would serve to eliminate global trade barriers. The report indicated that Ma was hoping that global enterprises, including Amazon, would work together to create this new universal global platform.
The report indicates that Alibaba was establishing a team to study what rules should apply to such an online platform including those related to tariffs and global logistics. Ma noted that Alibaba does not necessarily have to operate this platform, but wants to participate in building such an online global marketplace.
The Chinese online commerce provider hopes to reportedly “test the waters” with one or two countries following the G20 summit meeting planned for September. Unlike the World Trade Organization (WTO), the envisioned platform would reportedly be organized by businesses with the support of governments. Founder Ma further acknowledged the immense challenges and difficulties of such an effort and is reportedly prepared to spend decades to turn his vision into reality.
We suppose that latter statement is rather pertinent since judging from the current global climate related to eliminating trade barriers, as well as the ongoing fierce competition among existing global online fulfillment platforms, it may well take decades. With online retail sales in China now expected to exceed 40 percent of the total population by 2018 according to Jefferies Group, , and with only two dominant online fulfillment platforms in that country, chances are that activity within China alone will tax existing processes and systems, let alone a global platform. Add to that the challenge for monitoring and controlling fraudulent goods and the notion of decades seems pertinent.
Note: Alibaba is the principal owner of the South China Morning Post