HANGZHOU, China--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Alibaba Group and Unilever China announced today a comprehensive strategic partnership that will enable Unilever to reach customers across China with unprecedented precision and effectiveness through Alibaba Group’s data-driven ecosystem. Key areas of collaboration include rural China penetration, cross-border e-commerce, consumer protection and Big Data.
“We are very pleased to amplify our partnership with an industry leader such as Unilever,” said Daniel Zhang, Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group. “We look forward to building on our success in sales over the years and taking the collaboration to the next level. Moving forward, Alibaba Group and Unilever will jointly innovate in Big Data analytics application, cross-border e-commerce, and supply chain management. In this rapidly changing business landscape, we are committed to continually provide greater value to merchants and better experiences to shoppers.”
“Alibaba has changed the shopping habit of Chinese consumers. Its mission is to make it easy to do business everywhere, and its vision is to build the future infrastructure of commerce. This meets the Unilever’s development needs in China,” said Marijn Van Tiggelen, Unilever North Asia President. “Alibaba is the leading internet company in China, with the most innovative thinking. It’s not only an online store, but also a solution platform for online payment, e-finance, and e-commerce logistics. In cooperation with Alibaba, Unilever can provide more convenient services to consumers in China.”
This agreement is a major milestone for a partnership that started five years ago with a single Tmall store, which has since grown steadily on a solid foundation of mutual trust and success over the years. Through this strategic partnership, Alibaba Group and Unilever China will work together to:
- Strengthen cooperation to expand distribution channels, especially for consumers in rural areas to enjoy more convenient access to Unilever products
- Further develop cross-border ecommerce cooperation and make the Tmall Global Unilever store home to the richest selection of Unilever products from around the world
- Expand application of Big Data to optimize Unilever’s digital advertising strategy through Alimama, Alibaba’s online marketing business, and reach more consumers through online-offline retail integration
- Deepen collaboration in Alibaba’s Blue Star program where each product is tagged with a unique QR code that allows the consumer to verify its authenticity and origin. This will help protect Unilever’s brand and combat counterfeit goods to protect the customer user experience
- Develop innovations in supply chain management and offline distribution models
The upcoming Unilever Week on Tmall, scheduled for July 22 to 24, will celebrate the start of this partnership agreement.
Unilever China opened its first Tmall flagship store in June 2011 and, most recently, a Tmall Global flagship in September 2014, leveraging the free trade zone and bonded warehouse model.
About Alibaba Group
Alibaba Group’s mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. The company is the largest online and mobile commerce company in the world in terms of gross merchandise volume. Founded in 1999, the company provides the fundamental technology infrastructure and marketing reach to help businesses leverage the power of the Internet to establish an online presence and conduct commerce with hundreds of millions of consumers and other businesses.
Alibaba Group’s major businesses include:
- Taobao Marketplace (www.taobao.com), China's largest online shopping destination
- Tmall.com (www.tmall.com), China’s largest third-party platform for brands and retailers
- Juhuasuan (www.juhuasuan.com), China’s most popular online group buying marketplace
- Alitrip (www.alitrip.com), a leading online travel booking platform
- AliExpress (www.aliexpress.com), a global online marketplace for consumers to buy directly from China
- Alibaba.com (www.alibaba.com), China’s largest global online wholesale platform for small businesses
- 1688.com (www.1688.com), a leading online wholesale marketplace in China
- Aliyun (www.aliyun.com), a provider of cloud computing services to businesses and entrepreneurs
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2 billion consumers on any given day. It has 174,000 employees and generated annual sales of €48.4 billion in 2014. Over half of the company’s footprint is in the faster growing developing and emerging markets (57% in 2014). Their portfolio includes Persil, Dove, Knorr, Domestos, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Wall’s ice cream, Marmite, Magnum and Lynx.
Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) aims to double the size of the business whilst reducing environmental footprint and increasing positive social impact. It says the USLP is their strategic response to the challenges businesses face operating in an uncertain and volatile world. Its three goals are:
• Helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being
• Decoupling their growth from their environmental impact
• And enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020
Supporting these goals, the company has defined nine commitments, underpinned by targets encompassing social, environmental and economic areas. For more information about the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, please visit www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/.
Unilever was ranked number one in their sector in the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In the FTSE4Good Index Series, they attained a top environmental score of 5, leading to inclusion in the FTSE4Good Environmental Leaders Europe 40 Index. In 2014 they led the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the GlobeScan/SustainAbility annual survey - for the fourth year running. In 2014 Unilever was named in LinkedIn’s Top 3 most sought-after employers across all sectors and is also LinkedIn’s No. 1 most sought-after FMCG employer worldwide. For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit www.unilever.com.