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Chinese e-commerce giant takes on Amazon in Europe

By Charlotte Ricca

Major fashion brands reluctant to get on board

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is offering tempting deals to European sellers in an attempt to lure them away from Amazon onto its own online shopping service.

To encourage more sellers to sign up to its European platform, AliExpress, Alibaba has waived monthly rates and reduced commission on goods sold to between 5 per cent and 8 per cent.

Amazon currently charges third-party sellers around $43.49 (£33.17, €30), plus taxes, each month.

Launched in 2010, AliExpress is a global retail marketplace that enables consumers from around the world to buy directly from wholesalers and manufacturers in China.

It is the most visited e-commerce website in Russia and now hopes to make an impact in Europe.

Alibaba is particularly interested in Spain and Italy, according to Reuters. While a number of small businesses have joined AliExpress’s European platform in recent months, some major brands, such as Mango and Benetton have yet to get on board.

One large fashion company said its brand needed to be in an “aspirational environment”, while another said the platform is “a work in progress”.

In addition to its online services, AliExpress opened its first European high street shop in Madrid last August. AliExpress Plaza.

Alibaba's shares are currently up 0.46 per cent at $217.63.

FURTHER READING: Amazon seeks patent for palm recognition technology

FURTHER READING: India’s second largest retail chain expands sales reach through partnership with Amazon

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