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Alibaba to Recruit Army of Social Media Influencers Outside China

The firm is reportedly hunting for as much as 100,000 influencers on Instagram and TikTok especially.
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Alibaba’s global shopping and retail arm AliExpress is gearing up for a significant international expansion. Like other firms looking to expand internationally, the firm is recruiting digital-savvy help.

Bloomberg reported that the service is recruiting over 100,000 social media influencers. The firm is reportedly hunting for as much as 100,000 influencers on Instagram and TikTok especially.

Connecting Influencers with Brands

Alibaba is one of China’s biggest tech firms, with the firm controlling a significant stake of the company’s online shopping and retail market. The company is looking to expand beyond its home country’s shores, hopefully, to compete with industry behemoths like Amazon and co.

It’s evident that the company will be needing some help. Social media influencers will be instrumental in those plans.

The company understands this, and it’s making a significant pivot to capture the social media landscape. It recently launched AliExpress Connect, a platform that will allow influencers to start their careers and connect with both colleagues and fans.

People who would like to launch an influencer career will be able to use AliExpress Connect to collaborate with the platform and the brands that are available on the site. Influencers will be able to get paid for their content, with commissions based on the number of purchases they can generate.

The South China Morning Post reported that the program expects to build an army of influencers in the next 36 months. They’re reportedly targeting over a million influencers by then, with at least 100 key opinion leaders (KOLs) earning more than $1 million annually at the same time.

Wang Mingqiang, the General Manager of AliExpress, said, “As e-commerce continues to grow and ‘shoppertainment’ reshapes the landscape and changes the way people shop online.” He added that influencers and content creators are more vital to retail transformation and e-commerce success.

The influencer campaign will initially focus on Europe since most of AliExpress’s users reside in Poland, Spain, and Russia.

Dissatisfied With China, Alibaba’s Global Conquest Begins

Alibaba’s reign in China’s online market has been especially impressive over the past few months. With the coronavirus forcing socio-economic change across the country, Alibaba has emerged as one of the top firms across various spectrums.

In March, Reuters reported that the firm had positioned itself as a lender and hirer. It has hired hundreds of thousands of new workers and provided billions of dollars in loans to small and medium companies.

Earlier this year, MYBank – the company’s online banking institution – announced that it would distribute 2 trillion yuan (about $282 billion) in loans to vulnerable businesses this year, up almost 18 percent from the total number of loans it gave in 2019.

However, the firm knows that it would need to do much more if it plans to challenge industry giants like Amazon. The latter has emerged as one of the biggest winners of this pandemic as well. Like Alibaba, it has hired hundreds of thousands of new workers.

Alibaba is doing more than merely invest in growing its shopping arm, however. As CNBC reported last month, the Chinese tech giant is pouring 200 billion yuan ($28 billion) into its cloud computing division across the next three years. 

The report explained that Alibaba’s investment would cover various endeavors, from operating systems and servers to chips and networks.

As it is with other aspects, the firm already leads the way in cloud computing across China. In the global space, however, it trails both Microsoft and Amazon. However, such an investment is sure to see the company bolster its presence in the space. 


Based in the UK, Jimmy is an economic researcher with outstanding hands-on and heads-on experience in Macroeconomic finance analysis, forecasting and planning. He has honed his skills having worked cross-continental as a finance analyst, which gives him inter-cultural experience. He currently has a strong passion for regulation and macroeconomic trends as it allows him peek under the global bonnet to see how the world works.

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