Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is expected to surpass the US multinational firm Walmart soon as the world’s largest retail platform. Walmart Stores Inc posted net sales of $478.6 billion for its fiscal year ending January 31, while the latest trading volume figure for Alibaba amounted to 3 trillion yuan ($463.3 billion), Alibaba announced on Monday.
Alibaba’s trading volume is the equivalent to China’s Sichuan province’s gross domestic product (GDP) last year, state-run China Daily reported on Tuesday. An official announcement by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd expected to be made at the end of this fiscal year on March 31.
Alibaba’s CEO, Zhang Yong was quoted by agencies as saying in Hangzhou: “the figure was recorded on the company’s business-to-customer platform Tmall, consumer-to-consumer platforms Taobao and Rural Taobao, and group-buying site Juhuasuan.”
Zhang was further quoted as saying that he expects the company will achieve an annual trading volume of six trillion yuan by 2020 (about $980 billion) and that “in 2024, we wanted to be a business platform serving 2 billion consumers and tens of millions of enterprises at home and abroad.”
According to Zhang, the company will strive to combine cloud computing and big data technologies with the Internet and the Internet of Things, as well as consumer terminal equipment, to spur its development.
The Internet of Things is the network of physical objects — devices, vehicles, buildings and other items — embedded with electronics, software, sensors and network connectivity that enables these objects to collect and exchange data.