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Ali Opens New “Silk Road”

China Economic Weekly April 17, 2017

AliExpress, a sub-platform of China’s largest online shopping website Alibaba, launched for foreigners to buy made-in- China products, had reportedly collected over 100 million users by April 10. Thanks to the convenience and the vast variety of products, AliExpress is highly popular in many countries and has expanded to many of the countries and regions taking part in China’s Belt and Road Initiative. To better serve users, AliExpress has urged many less-developed countries to upgrade infrastructure and greatly promoted online payment, which Ali believes will one day totally replace cash payments. More importantly, as many foreign investors have exited China due to rising labour costs and as China is making efforts to upgrade its manufacturing, AliExpress provides a good channel for Chinese enterprises to export their products. AliExpress’s general manager Shen Difan told media that their long-term goal is to build a series of Chinese brands and to enhance the international image of Chinese domestic products.

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About China Report

The Belt and Road forum held in Beijing in May heralds China's strategy of globalisation 2.0. How much China has invested in the BRI? How can other countries along the routes join in and benefit from the opportunities? (p.20-25) Technologically China has often been perceived as playing the catch-up game. Not in Artificial Intelligence, which the country's tech giants are spearheading with some success. (p. 34-43) A migrant worker has taken the country by storm in her Dickensian essay about her hard life in modern Beijing. (p.52-55)