DETROIT & HANGZHOU, China--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA) today announced Gateway ’17, an inaugural conference hosted by Alibaba to help U.S. businesses, farmers and entrepreneurs explore growth opportunities and reach millions of Chinese consumers. Gateway ’17 will take place at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan on June 20-21, 2017.
Gateway ’17 is expected to attract more than 1,000 businesses across the U.S. The event will include keynote speeches from leading entrepreneurs, including Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, as well as category breakout sessions, business solutions sessions and marketplace networking opportunities.
With incomes rising in China, the Chinese middle class continues to grow as does consumer demand for access to high-quality products from the United States. Alibaba helps U.S. businesses by connecting them to Chinese consumers and empowering them to grow their businesses by accessing the China opportunity.
“China is an important and viable market for a wide range of products and services. This event will open doors for Michigan businesses, farmers and entrepreneurs by helping them identify and enter into new relationships there,” said Rick Snyder, Governor of Michigan. “By participating in Gateway ’17, Michigan businesses will have a unique opportunity to reach new customers in the fastest-growing economy in the world, and we encourage all companies looking to expand into exporting to attend this event.”
"A company with the reach and influence of Alibaba could have chosen any city to host its first conference and we are thrilled they picked Detroit,” said Mike Duggan, Mayor of Detroit. “This represents a great opportunity for Detroit's small business owners and entrepreneurs to have access to Alibaba's global network."
Below is a letter to U.S. businesses, farmers and entrepreneurs from Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, inviting them to join Alibaba and its partners at Gateway ‘17:
Open Letter to U.S. Businesses, Farmers and Entrepreneurs
from Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group
Dear U.S. small businesses, farmers and fellow entrepreneurs,
Nearly 20 years ago on a trip to the United States, I first witnessed the power of the internet and its ability to connect people around the world. That was my inspiration when four years later 18 passionate people got together in my apartment to found Alibaba, and we began to imagine a future where millions of people could use the internet to do business globally. Our vision was to level the playing field so that any individual – no matter how big or small – could use the power of a connected world to grow a business and succeed.
From that humble origin in 1999, Alibaba has become a worldwide leader in e-commerce. Two years ago, we made it our goal to help U.S. entrepreneurs and businesses sell their goods to the growing Chinese consumer class. Since then, we have helped thousands of American businesses do just that, and we believe this is only the beginning.
The Chinese market presents tremendous opportunities for U.S. small businesses and farmers to grow their businesses, and in turn, create more U.S. jobs. China’s middle-class population is projected to exceed 600 million by 2022, or nearly twice the size of the entire U.S. population. Last year, China surpassed the U.S. as the world’s largest retail market, with spending topping U.S. $4.84 trillion. By next year, China’s online spending will be greater than the rest of the world combined. At Alibaba, we want to help you take advantage of this appetite for consumption through our e-commerce marketplaces.
For those of you who are not familiar, Alibaba operates marketplaces that connect buyers and sellers. Think of us as a virtual mall with nearly half a billion shoppers buying from sellers that operate their own online storefronts. With most Chinese consumers today shopping from a cell phone, getting to our virtual mall is as easy as clicking on the mobile app that people carry in their pocket. We are already a gateway for thousands of global brands, retailers and companies to sell to Chinese consumers. And we want to expand that gateway – level the playing field – to make it easy for American entrepreneurs, small businesses and farmers alike to take advantage of the China opportunity.
On June 20-21, we will host an event in Detroit to share more about this opportunity and how we can work together to help American small businesses grow. The two-day event, Gateway ’17, will fittingly take place in Detroit – home to some of America’s greatest ingenuity and innovation.
Today, Alibaba works closely with many small and medium-sized businesses who have capitalized on the growing demand in China. Peter Verbrugge, a third-generation cherry farmer from the Pacific Northwest, is one of many examples. Through Alibaba, he has successfully sold tons of his delicious cherries to Chinese consumers. A New York City boutique, Stadium Goods, has seen business take off by selling coveted collectible sneakers to sports fans across China – their growth has enabled them to expand their team by more than 50 percent. LuckyVitamin, a third generation family-owned business that started as a corner drugstore serving a small town just outside of Philadelphia, is now able to offer over 10,000 products to Chinese consumers.
These are just a few of the many stories that inspire us to continue pursuing our mission of making it easy to do business anywhere. Every day we strive to help fellow entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. At Gateway ’17, we want to show you how Alibaba can help make your dreams come true.
I hope to see you in Detroit in June.
Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group
- Register for Gateway ‘17: http://www.gateway17.com
- Open letter from Jack Ma: http://www.alizila.com/jack-ma-invites-u-s-business-to-detroit/
- Video from Jack Ma: http://www.gateway17.com
- Learn more about successful U.S. small businesses working with Alibaba: http://gateway17.com/customer-stories/
- Learn more about the China opportunity: http://www.alizila.com/gateway-to-china/
- Follow @AlibabaGroup on Twitter
About Alibaba Group
Alibaba Group’s mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. The company aims to build the future infrastructure of commerce. It envisions that its customers will meet, work and live at Alibaba, and that it will be a company that lasts at least 102 years.