Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit have teamed up with Tmall Global, an overseas platform and subsidiary of Alibaba Group’s B2C Tmall business in China, to launch E-Marco Polo, a platform to support Italian companies to enter the Chinese market.
Alibaba Group and the Italian government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) last year in June 2014 to initiate the business.
The E-Marco Polo project aims at facilitating the entrance process of the best-in-class “Made in Italy” products in the Chinese consumer market without the need for physical operations in China.
The move aims to help Italian SMEs export goods ranging from the fashion, food & beverage, beauty, and kids sectors.
Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit will establish a storefront on Tmall Global in the near future in providing Chinese consumers the direct access of selected Italian brands through cross-border e-commerce.
“We are very excited to introduce high-quality Italian brands to Chinese shoppers through our B2C platforms,” said Maggie Wu, head of Tmall Global. “Tmall Global provides an innovative cross-border solution for overseas brands and is delighted to be working with Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit.
“Through the cooperation, we believe Tmall Global can help Italian companies to enter the Chinese market and broadening the variety of goods, reaching hundreds of millions Chinese consumers directly.”
“The Chinese market has surpassed the US in terms of total retail sales via online channel,” declared Paolo Fiorentino, Chief Operating Officer of UniCredit. “And the online purchase of foreign goods showed a double digit growth rate over the last year.”
“We believe that this agreement is particularly important in the medium and long term for the commercial potential it can offer to Italian SMEs, given the institutional support and synergies with the main banks in the country,” said Stefano Barrese, responsible for Sales and Marketing Area at Intesa Sanpaolo.