Alibaba to launch fully owned e-commerce business in India this year

Alibaba to launch fully owned e-commerce business in India this year

Chinese conglomerate Alibaba is planning to expand its e-commerce footprint to India via its subsidiary UCWeb. The company is planning to build a recommendation engine for existing e-commerce platforms in India, a senior UCWeb executive said.

The service would be launched within this year, Huaiyuan Yang, Vice President of UCWeb Global Business said on the sidelines of Alibaba Philanthropy forum. UCWeb is reportedly planning to partner with e-commerce firms like Flipkart and Paytm Mall for the recommendation engine.

“We have Alibaba’s e-commerce gene in us. We are actually trying to start innovative business model related to e-commerce. We are going to launch a new e-commerce product in India this year,” PTI quoted Yang as saying.

The recommendation engine is expected to be a platform that would showcase products from different e-commerce platforms for people to browse through. They would be directed to the actual website if they wish to make a purchase.

Alibaba, the parent company of UCWeb, holds 30.15 per cent stake in Paytm and 3 per cent stake in Snapdeal. Yang dismissed speculations that Alibaba’s foray into e-commerce space would adversely affect Paytm’s business.

“E-commerce is very vast business. There are various part of e-commerce business and several products. UC will choose section according to our business. We will partner with the right players and we will not compete with them (Paytm)” Yang said.

UCWeb also have plans to start the sale of movie tickets online, he added.

UCWeb’s UC Browser has been available in India since 2009. It claims to have registered 1.1 billion user downloads worldwide (excluding China) with half of its global installs from India. It also claims to have 130 million monthly active users in the country.