Date
20 August 2017
Alibaba says its smart logistics network can benefit all e-commerce players in China. Photo: Xinhua
Alibaba says its smart logistics network can benefit all e-commerce players in China. Photo: Xinhua

Alibaba refutes criticism over logistics venture

Cainiao Network Technology Co. Ltd., a logistics venture set up by Alibaba Group and several other firms, is proceeding on the right track, a senior executive said, refuting criticism from a government official who alleged that the project is not coming upto expectations.

Wang Shuai, chief marketing officer of Alibaba, said in a microblog post Tuesday that Cainiao’s ongoing establishment of warehouses in China’s major logistics hubs is indispensable for its mission to build itself as a backbone for a smart logistics network that can benefit all e-commerce companies.

Criticism of the venture will only make the company more determined in its work, he wrote, according to Singtao Daily.

The comments came after Nie Linhai, a deputy inspector at the Chinese commerce ministry’s e-commerce and information department, told an e-commerce forum last Friday that Alibaba chairman Jack Ma could make a great contribution if Cainiao can become a fourth-party smart platform in logistics that helps with supply chain financing for e-commerce firms.

Instead, what the group seems to be doing is setting up proprietary warehouses nationwide on the back of cheap land provided by local governments, the official said.

Wang said it is impossible to build logistics infrastructure “in the cloud”, nor is it feasible to have only one warehouse to fit the mission. Cainiao aims to build a smart network that can support the country’s online sales over the next five to eight years, he said, adding that it is also seeking to acquiring land sites overseas as a way to go global.

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