Chinese retail giant Alibaba has reportedly hired a small team of executives at its London offices to build a UK portfolio.
The company’s London office is mostly focused on ensuring its payment system service, Alipay, works seamlessly for Chinese visitors in the UK.
In May, Alibaba expanded its AliExpress platform for small businesses, allowing retailers from outside China to sell goods through the marketplace. Third-party sellers from Spain, Italy, Russia and Turkey will be introduced to the platform, which currently sells to 150 countries. Previously, AliExpress only supported Chinese retailers.
However, Alibaba will seek to replicate the system in the UK after adding staff to its London office, the Daily Telegraph has reported.
Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma retired in September, aged 55, with a net worth of $38.4bn (£31.1bn). Ma founded the Chinese online giant 20 years ago, and will use his retirement to spend more time on his philanthropic works and education, and with his family. He will hand over the chairman role to Alibaba’s incumbent CEO Daniel Zhang, a transition that was announced a year ago.
Alibaba has been contacted for comment.