Alibaba ups majority stake in Cainiao ahead of 11.11

Alibaba increased its majority stake in its logistics affiliate Cainiao Smart Logistics Network to 63% from 51% with an investment of US$3.3 billion today. The news comes just before China’s major “11.11” shopping holiday on Nov. 11, and on the heels of other moves the e-commerce giant recently made to expand its global presence, including shipping freight via train to Liège and formalizing charter flights to Russia. 

Commenting on the investment, Alibaba Group Executive CEO Daniel Zhang said Alibaba supports the ongoing development of Cainiao and its work to accelerate digitalization of logistics to enhance customer user experience and service. The Cainiao investment is also essential to delivering top-tier customer service and supporting Alibaba’s new retail strategy to achieve global deliveries within 72 hours, as reported by our sister site, Cargo Facts. 

Beyond this immediate development, Alibaba continued its multimodal expansion for international freight via train and air. 

Cainiao began October with the send-off of a dedicated e-commerce train from a small commodities hub in Yiwu to its European hub at Liège Airport (LGG). The freight train route, announced last year, will now run twice weekly for Cainiao to transport goods including cosmetics and home appliances for European customers, according to China Daily. 

Cainiao then ended the month by signing an agreement with the Russian Post establishing once-daily direct chartered flights from Hangzhou (HGH) to Moscow (SVO), increasing to twice-daily during the period around 11.11. While Cainiao has chartered flights to Russia in the past, this partnership formalizes these flights into a scheduled service. 

With these boosts in logistics and other development efforts over the past year, Alibaba is making the world take notice of its expanding global presence. Even Taylor Swift, who is headlining the e-commerce giant’s annual 11.11 Countdown Gala, may soon be receiving goods along its logistics networks. 

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