Alibaba Group says it will host an E-Commerce Expo to place a spotlight on cross-border export opportunities for Australian small businesses and connect aspirational buyers and sellers who are looking to expand into China.

To be held in Melbourne from 13 –14 October 2017, the Alibaba Ecommerce Expo is expected to attract up to 500 brands and 3,000 attendees. It will also feature keynote speeches from Maggie Zhou, Managing Director, Alibaba Group Australia and New Zealand, Jessica Rudd, Founder of Jessica’s Suitcase and popular Australian Weibo influencer David Gulasi.

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The Expo aims to take Australian SMBs through the Alibaba ecosystem, providing them with access to service partners and buyers through Alibaba’s ecommerce platforms. Workshops will be held for participating brands to advance the knowledge and skills needed to successfully export to China.

“Australian products are highly regarded in China and continue to attract the attention of millions of Chinese consumers who demand high-quality goods. To date, many Australian businesses have already taken advantage of the benefits of the Alibaba ecosystem and cross border ecommerce trade.” said Maggie Zhou, Managing Director of Alibaba Group, Australia and New Zealand.

“The Expo is a unique event for aspirational small business owners who are keen to learn how to access and succeed in the China market. It will help open doors to new opportunities and empower brands and consumers to connect globally through Alibaba’s ecosystem.”

In a shift away from traditional sellers exhibitions, the Expo will also have a strong digital and new media component, leveraging popular social influencers and live streaming events throughout the two-day event.

As a result, exhibiting brands are expected to reach tens of thousands of buyers in China as they live stream their products and brand stories from the event, reaching beyond attendees of the Expo through social media.

“We’ve only just seen the beginning of China’s market growth and I believe the best way for Aussie brands to take advantage of this is through Alibaba,” said David Gulasi, one of China’s most successful Key Opinion Leaders with more than eight million fans across his Chinese social media platforms.

“As brands explore this opportunity, it’s important they also find the right ambassador. I’ve worked with many Australian companies and I can tell you, it’s not only about how many followers you have, it’s about what you stand for.”

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