The Victorian Government has announced it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Australia Post to help provide the state’s businesses with easy access to the Chinese market through Alibaba’s Tmall Global platform, which allows international brands to sell to China without having a physical presence in the country.
The MoU was signed at a roundtable event at the Victorian Invitation Program, Victoria’s inbound trade mission.
With sales on the Tmall platform rising by 68 percent in the last financial year to exceed $170 billion, Victoria’s Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis said in a statement that the deal is a “game-changer” for Victorian businesses, particularly those in rural and regional areas.
“It will allow them to participate in a ‘virtual trade mission’ and sell their products direct to consumers in the world’s largest economy, without leaving their homes,” he said.
Andrew Walduck, Australia Post Executive General Manager, added, “Demand for quality Australian products is unlocking a world of opportunity for local businesses wanting to grow into China.
“Australia Post’s partnership with Tmall and the Victorian Government has made it easier than ever for local businesses to access to more than 300 million new customers through Tmall.”
Though the MoU has been lauded as the first-of-a-kind by the government, it comes two years after Australia Post first entered into a strategic partnership with Tmall that has allowed local businesses to sell to China through Australia Post’s Tmall storefront, auspost.tmall.hk.
Businesses interested in selling through the shopfront must meet a number of strict requirements in order to be accepted onto the platform by Australia Post, with factors including brand reputation and stock levels looked at.
Once accepted, sellers simply upload product pictures and descriptions, sale prices, stock numbers, and any other relevant information onto Australia Post’s software platform, with Australia Post then quality-checking the information and translating it into Chinese. The organisation’s partnerships with logistics providers then take care of the rest.
The requirements for businesses are where the Victorian government comes in. Though the specifics are to be worked out at a later date, a partnership could see the government help identify businesses who are ideal for the platform, and provide tools and resources to others to help them reach the requirements.
Australia Post also partnered with Alibaba Group’s business-to-business online marketplace 1688.com last December, allowing Australian businesses to sell wholesale to China on 1688.com through the Australia Post storefront.
These partnerships highlight the fact that ecommerce has become the focus for Australia Post. The organisation also linked up with Data61 earlier this month, stating that the partnership continues into “transformation to an ecommerce and eGovernment services company”. Australia Post and Data61 stated they will work together on logistics solutions, applying insights from data gathered from trucks and parcel deliveries to drive advances in supply chain management and methods of delivery.
Image: Andrew Walduck. Source: CIO.