Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, attends a news conference held in Seoul, capital of South Korea, on May 19, 2015. South Korea's finance ministry said Alibaba wants to make South Korea one of its global logistics hubs and it is seeking a partner for this endeavour. Alibaba Group is also working with Korea International Trade Association to initiate a youth internship program that will enable 100 Korean college graduates to work as intern at Alibaba Group's headquarters in Hangzhou. (Xinhua/Seongbin Kang)
China's leading e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. said on Wednesday that it will start logistics service in South Korea this year.
Alibaba said the Cainiao Network, the logistics company belong to Alibaba, was planning and carrying out a medium- and long-term logistics program in South Korea.
The company said that it is analyzing the relevant data, preferring to cooperate with domestic and overseas partners and trying to utilize their logistic facilities. Its final goal is to create a better logistic service and experience with the platform of Cainiao Network.
But Alibaba denied that the logistic service will be launched in April reported by some South Korean media, saying it was "too fast."
Alibaba also said the price of the Cainiao logistic service per kilo from South Korea to China is not 4,800 won (some 4.25 U.S. dollars) reported by local media.
After the launching of Cainiao logistic service in South Korea, Chinese consumers are able to purchase commodities directly from the South Korean sellors via Alibaba's one-stop services supplied by its online shopping mall Tmall.com, its online payment service provider Alipay and Cainiao network.
South Korea's Joongang Daily reported that South Korea was only accounted for less than 1 percent in China's huge direct overseas shopping market ("Haitao" market), thus South Korean government and business sectors are so eager to make more profit from the market boost by China-S. Korea FTA in the future.
Alibaba has continued expanding its market in South Korea in terms of logistic service, online and offline payment and other services in recent years.
Last August, South Korean President Park Geun-hye met with Ma Yun, founder and chairman of Alibaba Group Holding, agreeing to boost e-commerce cooperation between the two countries, including helping Alibaba's Cainiao logistics enter South Korea's market.
Ma told Xinhua that Alibaba will launch all-around cooperation on e-commerce with South Korea. It was the fourth all-around cooperation between Alibaba and foreign government since it has signed agreements with Britain, France and Italy.
In 2014, Alipay opened tax refund service in South Korea. The tax refund can be easily transferred to the customers' Alipay account within one week.
Alipay also cooperated with South Korea's T-money company issuing "Alipay T-money" card for Chinese tourists. The card can be used for any public transportation in Seoul and Jeju Island. Coffee shops, convenience stores and many cosmetics stores also accept the Alipay and T-money card.
According to Alibaba, Alipay has supplied cross-border payment services to over 400 South Korean enterprises. The transactions on South Korean shopping website via Alipay has surpassed 2 million.
Besides, South Korea's top two supermarket Emart and Lotte mart, its largest online retailer Gmarket, the country's largest TV shopping platform Cjmall and many other South Korean companies have all started business on Tmall.com.
Park previously hoped Alibaba could offer more convenience for South Korea's small- and medium-size enterprises to enter China's e-commerce market.
Now Alibaba has finished one training courses to around 20 South Korea's small- and medium-size enterprises, teaching them how to make business online. The rest four training courses will be launched soon.