Alibaba Group Holding Limited is one of the global e-commerce giant. It seems quite interested in the information technology market in Pakistan. Why not? The information technology in Pakistan is growing rapidly and many young and talented people are getting associated with this field. This is making Pakistan a very HOT DESTINATION for investment.
Alibaba is also impressed with the growth of Pakistani economy and specially e-commerce sector, taking the advantage of the correct time and circumstanced Alibaba intends to invest in Pakistan. Before it does so, it is testing the response of the market by launching some of its ventures.
Though recently, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba Group met where they discussed about World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in which the premier invited Alibaba to explore the growing e-commerce opportunities in Pakistan, the new initiative has nothing to do with it.
It is not the result of meeting but an interest that has developed in Alibaba’s authorities to invest in Pakistani market after observing its current status.
Alibaba has already launched a UCWeb last year in Pakistan. It is a mobile internet company that provides mobile browsing service with the help of UC Browser. The initiative was launched formally.
There is another venture that is no yet formally launched but it has set its step in Pakistan and that is AliExpress. It is an e-commerce ancillary that works in the retail segment in different countries.
AliExpress seems to be a great success already. It has managed to bag 15,000 orders per day in Pakistan. The group keeps looking forward for more opportunities, which is the reason it has recently signed an agreement with local company. According to the agreement the local company intends to provide vendors for smooth operations in Punjab’s first and second-tier cities initially.
The training sessions and work on necessary infrastructure is yet not completed and is in process that is the reason AliExpress has not been launched in Pakistan formally.
Andrea Huang is the Mobile Business Group Head of Marketing in Emerging Markets of Alibaba. According to her UCWeb has acquired 25.3% market share in Pakistan, second after Google Chrome and Firefox.
Huang during an interview over Skype has said,
“We have decided to fully market our product here as we are successfully leading in China, India and Indonesia with a global customer base of 420 million active users. The immense growth in 3G and 4G connections in Pakistan, coupled with a population of over 190 million, was the biggest attraction for formally launching the group’s product.”
Huang also said during the interview,
“It is not easy to penetrate Pakistan’s market in the presence of other web browsers; the biggest challenge is to widen the user base and provide users the best available services within the browser.”
She further added,
“For this, we are investing in our product to keep finding the demand and better services. At present, we don’t have a formal office in Pakistan, but once we expand out of Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad, we will hire a team and open up offices in Pakistan.”
The cloud computing technology was introduced by UC Browser. It became the first ever mobile browser to do so. They took this initiative back in 2004. Huang remained silent about the plans of authorities of UC Web that include Pakistan but she assured that they will keep investing in the upcoming years.