Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) founder and CEO Jack Ma said Thursday that the company would soon launch an international version of its Taobao platform. The new marketplace will be available in multiple languages including English and Chinese, and will serve shoppers worldwide. Currently, the Chinese company has an international e-commerce platform called AliExpress, which specializes in wholesale goods. The company doesn’t have a similar platform for international consumers.
The most dangerous moment for Alibaba
Jack Ma revealed the plans during a meeting with Internet industry leaders and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. At the World Internet Conference held in Wuzhen, China, Alibaba founder said that the company was facing the “most dangerous moment” just two months after going public. The company raised $25 billion in a public offering in September. The stock has rallied more than 60% from its IPO price.
Ma warned Alibaba executives that the company employees may become complacent, stop innovation, or fail to embrace new opportunities. It is the “most dangerous moment” because investors are expecting too much from the e-commerce giant. During its Nov.11 Singles’ Day promotion event, the company generated $9.34 billion in sales.
Alibaba No.1 in Russia
Jack Ma doesn’t want to go against Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) or Ebay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) in the U.S. market. He sees plenty of opportunities in other countries. According to research firm TNS, AliExpress is the top shopping site in Brazil and Russia. Surprisingly, Alibaba has no employees in those markets. The Chinese online retailer also plans to expand its payments system Alipay in international markets. Alipay currently has about 18 million active overseas users.
The e-commerce giant is also planning to raise $8 billion in bond offering. Sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that the bond sale could happen as early as this week. Proceeds from the bond offering will be used to refinance credit facilities. Alibaba has about $11 billion in credit lines and loans.
Alibaba shares gained 2.67% to $111.73 at 11:25 AM EST on Thursday.