China gets a genuine taste of Canada via online storefront

Canadian maple syrup and lobsters are only a few clicks away with the opening of a national online “pavilion” on an Alibaba shopping platform yesterday.

Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended the launch of the Tmall Global storefront at Alibaba’s Hangzhou headquarters.

The online shop features more than 100 products from 30 Canadian companies and follows similar ventures by South Korea, the United States, Britain, France, Spain, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Turkey.

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The pavilions are promoted as cutting intermediary costs usually associated with cross-border trade for Chinese consumers and reducing the risk of buying fake products.

“What this means is there will be a digital hub directly connecting Canadian companies to over 400 million Chinese consumers,” Trudeau said. “Partnership with Alibaba will mean more money in pocket for hardworking Canadians.”

Last year, merchandise trade between Canada and China grew by 10.1 per cent to nearly US$85.8 billion, accounting for 8.1 per cent of Canada’s total merchandise trade, the Canadian government’s statistics showed.

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Trudeau’s appearance is part of a week-long trip that also takes in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong.

Canada announced in Beijing last week that it would apply to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Trudeau will also attend the G20 summit.Trudeau is also trying woo more Chinese tourists to Canada via Alibaba’s in the online travel agency Alitrip and mobile payment service Alipay.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo also visited Alibaba.

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