Alibaba’s Jack Ma anticipates that about 100 million of the company’s more than 400 million active buyers will take part in China’s first online wine festival on September 9, according to Decanter China. The Chinese e-commerce giant is betting big on this festival where around 100,000 wine and spirits will be offered online with the help of its Tmall.

Alibaba wine
Wine Tasting Contest in Shenzhen by noviceromano, Flickr

Expecting similar success as with Single’s Day

The official term for “the alcohol festival” in Chinese is “Jiu Shi,” but wine traders in the country are calling it “Wine Day” as most of the offerings in the festival are wine. The e-commerce giant is hoping to achieve the same or greater success than what it had with its November 11 Single’s Day. The date has become one of the most successful shopping days of the year for Tmall. Even if Wine Day achieves only a fraction of the success of Single’s Day, it would still be a great encouragement to the wine industry, notes Forbes.

In April while meeting with Matteo Renzi, Prime Minister of Italy, Ma declared the launch of an annual Wine Festival Day. In June, the e-commerce giant announced the launch of Wine Direct, a division within Tmall where producers and chateaux will be able to sell directly to Chinese customers. Also Wine Australia launched a wine store in Tmall just a week ago, selling Australian wine directly to customers.

Castle Li, general manager of COFCO’s imported wine business, said he was quite positive about their growing online customer base. Li added that this year they offered wines to clients through online platforms like JD.com.

“Selling online gives us useful data about which wines are more welcome in China, so we purchase accordingly,” Li told Forbes.

Alibaba invests in logistics

Alibaba is also boosting its logistics network. Cainiao Smart Logistics Network Ltd., its logistics affiliate, was one of the main investors in Best Logistics Technologies’ $760 million fundraising round. Best Logistics is also backed by China Development Bank International, CITIC Private Equity, and Goldman Sachs Group, notes Investopedia.

Best Logistics offers “comprehensive supply-chain solutions” and was founded by former Google China co-president Johnny Chou in 2007. The company has about 30,000 employees and operates 400 distribution centers in China, a single warehouse in Germany and three warehouses in the United States.

For the Hangzhou-based e-commerce giant, it is not its first investment in the logistics sector. In 2015, it invested $4.6 billion in Suning Commerce, the largest electronics retailer in China. The country’s logistics network is fragmented, and Alibaba is planning to invest around $16 billion over the next five to eight years to improve the delivery process.