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Alibaba Group

Florence Shih
+852 2215 5114
florenceshih@hk.alibaba-inc.com

Ashley Zandy
+1 917 655 7276 / +852 5490 2940
ashleyzandy@alibaba-inc.com

Brunswick Group

Katharine Crallé
+852 3512-5023
kcralle@brunswickgroup.com

Yin Ai
+852 3512 5096
yai@brunswickgroup.com

Government of Italy

Giovanni Brignone
Media and Information Officer at the Embassy of Italy in Beijing
+86 10 85327610
giovanni.brignone@esteri.it

June 11, 2014

The Government of Italy and Alibaba Group Enter Into Strategic Collaboration to Create Global Business Opportunities for Italian Brands and Businesses

Cooperation effort is aimed at matching Alibaba's e-commerce and retail expertise with Italy's best-in-class brands with strong heritage

Beijing, China, June 11, 2014 - The Government of Italy - through its Ministry of Economic Development - and Alibaba Group announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to foster greater trade opportunities for Italian businesses seeking to sell to the vast Chinese consumer market via Alibaba Group's Tmall.com and Tmall.hk online retail platforms (collectively, "Tmall") and other related Group businesses.

During the three-year term under the MOU, Alibaba Group will, among other things, provide Italian enterprises with express enrolment support for Tmall and its dedicated services, and as well as online promotion and marketing support on the platforms. The Ministry of Economic Development of the Italian Republic will, among other things, work with Alibaba Group to help Italian companies understand the opportunities in China and its unique Chinese consumers by leveraging Tmall's experience and product category data. This collaboration will also provide Tmall with Italian retail trends and popularity guidance to make marketing campaigns more focused and effective for Chinese consumers. Alibaba Group will also explore collaboration possibilities with Italian companies via its other business units such as business-to-business platform, Alibaba.com, as well as the related payment business Alipay and the affiliated logistics business China Smart Logistics.

"This agreement is a fantastic opportunity to promote Italian brands in China through a powerful and modern channel of distribution", said Italian Minister for Economic Development, Ms Federica Guidi, at the end of the signing ceremony. "We believe that Italian products and goods will have the chance to reach a growing number of Chinese consumers who increasingly appreciate their quality, safety and unique style. It also represents a great chance for Italian SMEs – which often, due to their relative size, find it somehow difficult to expand internationally - to establish a presence in the highly competitive Chinese market and get to be known by the Chinese public for the excellence of their products".

"The Internet age has brought down geographical barriers to trade and doing business anywhere in the world; from our inception, our mission has been to help businesses to grow and compete more effectively by leveraging technology," said Jack Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba Group. "Through this MOU we hope to make more Italian brands and products available to the hundreds of millions of online and mobile shoppers across China, and at the same time help Italian brands and companies to directly tap into the insatiable demand from Chinese consumers."

A growing number of foreign brands from the United States, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong use Tmall as not only a core component of their China retail strategy, but also embrace Tmall as a platform to distinguish their own brand identities and build brand awareness and image among Chinese consumers.

To commemorate this MOU, Tmall.com will host a tailored marketing campaign promoting a variety of Italian brands on Tmall.com in early June. Of which, 30,000 boxes of Baci di Dama freshly made cookies will be shipped directly from Italy to Chinese consumers via Tmall.com; prior to this, this product was not available for sale in China. This serves as another prime example of Tmall's ability to serve as a platform for consumers to buy international branded products that are currently not available at traditional outlets in China. Other Italian brands that are a part of the marketing campaign include: Kappa, ASH, Police, Delonghi, Lavazza, Baci, Borghese, and many others which have already joined Tmall.com. Following the campaign, Tmall.com will also launch a dedicated country page to feature Italian brands and products.

For more information on this marketing campaign, please visit: http://www.tmall.com/go/market/brand/italy-week.php?spm=a3200.7057013.a2227q8.1.QCA1fh

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 online third-party platform for brands and retailers
  • Juhuasuan (www.juhuasuan.com), China's most popular online group buying marketplace
  • 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
  • Alibaba Cloud Computing (www.aliyun.com), a leading provider of cloud computing services to businesses and entrepreneurs

Alibaba Group also provides payment and escrow services on its marketplaces through its association with Alipay (www.alipay.com), a related company of Alibaba Group.

Through China Smart Logistics, a 48%-owned affiliate, Alibaba Group, operates a central logistics information system that connects a network of express delivery companies in China.

About the Government of Italy – Ministry of Economic Development

The Ministry of Economic Development (Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico or MISE) is a Government Ministry of the Italian Republic. It deals with production, economic activities, energy and mineral resources, telecommunications, consumers, tourism, the internationalization of Italian companies and business incentives. Since 22 February 2014, it is headed by the Minister of Economic Development, Ms Federica Guidi.

The Ministry was set up in 2006, replacing the former Ministry of Productive Activities, which had already absorbed the portfolio of the Department of Cohesion and Development (previously under the Ministry of Economy and Finance). With the 2008 budget law, it was decided to merge also the Ministry of Communications and the Ministry of International Commerce into the Ministry of Economic Development.

The Ministry has competence over a wide range of matters, going from companies competitiveness in strategic sectors to industrial policies, from technological innovation to support and incentive in favour of SMEs. The Ministry is involved in interventions of re-industrialization and conversion of industrial sectors affected by the crisis, in the elaboration of nationally strategic energy policies as well as the coordination of the activities related to national and regional planning in the energy and mining sectors. It deals also with telecommunications, companies' internationalization, import/export, promotion and protection of industrial and intellectual property, protection of consumer rights, monitoring of (and fight of) the phenomenon of counterfeiting and support and promotion of "Made in Italy" goods and services.

Media Contacts

Alibaba Group

Florence Shih
+852 2215 5114
florenceshih@hk.alibaba-inc.com

Ashley Zandy
+1 917 655 7276 / +852 5490 2940
ashleyzandy@alibaba-inc.com

Brunswick Group

Katharine Crallé
+852 3512-5023
kcralle@brunswickgroup.com

Yin Ai
+852 3512 5096
yai@brunswickgroup.com

Government of Italy

Giovanni Brignone
Media and Information Officer at the Embassy of Italy in Beijing
+86 10 85327610
giovanni.brignone@esteri.it