Alibaba opens Chinese PPE market to international buyers

Chinese online giant Alibaba has said that it has helped with the sourcing and distribution of nearly 26 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health systems around the world impacted by the pandemic.

The PPE sourcing uses its customer relations team to help large scale commercial buyers find and make bulk purchases of PPE. The Alibaba-owned online grocer Tmail Supermarket is at the forefront of this, sourcing and verifying the equipment from Chinese manufacturers who would otherwise have no experience in dealing with international customers. In addition the logistics arm of Alibaba, Cainiao is streamlining the delivery process.

The efforts that Alibaba is making includes pre-order negotiations, transactions, product inspection as well as customs clearance.

Zhang Kuo, general manager of Alibaba, said, “We soon realised many of our buyers, especially governments and healthcare systems, needed more specialised support. With this global direct procurement and supply pilot, we are leveraging Alibaba’s own expertise and resources, as well as the power of the Alibaba Group ecosystem partners, to ensure international buyers can secure urgently needed PPE in a timely and transparent manner at fair market prices.”