Alibaba to surpass Walmart as world’s largest retailer

alibabafrontE-commerce giant, Alibaba, has hit a target of ¥3 trillion RMB ($476 billion) in annual sales or gross merchandise volume (GMV), marking a milestone for the e-commerce sector.

“This is one of the several milestones we set for ourselves to remind us that there’s a lot of work ahead of us,” said Alibaba Group executive vice chair, Joe Tsai. “Back in 2012, we achieved RMB 1 trillion in GMV. Then, it seemed tripling our GMV would be a tall order and, a bit more than three years later, here we are.”

“If the platforms we operate were a province, we would rank as the sixth largest provincial economy in China,” Tsai added.

The company’s volume for fiscal year 2015 is expected to grow about 23 per cent from the previous year.

With the new figures mentioned, Alibaba is expected to surpass rival Wal-Mart as the world’s largest retail platform, according to

The Chinese e-commerce group’s fiscal year started on April 1 and ends on March 31. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. posted a total revenue of $478.6 billion for its fiscal year ending January 31.

Tsai said as part of their expansion plan, the company has sought to bring more foreign sellers onto its platform and penetrate China’s untapped rural consumer market.

“In the past year we have stepped up efforts to bring quality producers and brands onto our platform, especially foreign imports; and our Rural Taobao initiative has thus far penetrated over 12,000 of China’s 600,000 villages to bring everyday items that city dwellers normally enjoy to the rural population. We still have a lot of work ahead of us,” he said.

Tsai said Alibaba’s achievement reflects China’s shift away from investment and export-led growth towards consumption and services, which he deems “a massive transformation that will drive a new Chinese economy for years to come.”

Company CEO Zhang Yong said he expects Alibaba to achieve an annual trading volume of ¥6 trillion yuan by 2020, and that “in 2024, we want to be a business platform serving two billion consumers and tens of millions of enterprises at home and abroad”.

Alibaba is an e-commerce platform in China that sells everything from furniture to electronics on its Tmall and Taobao Marketplace sites.

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