• Alibaba founder and CEO Jack Ma at the Launching of the Korea Pavilion.

Alibaba founder and CEO Jack Ma at the Launching of the Korea Pavilion. (Photo : www.technews.co)

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has announced on June 24, Wednesday, that it has added 11 countries to Tmall Global, its platform for selling and advertising foreign brands, in a bid to bolster its international e-commerce initiatives, the Wall Street Journal reported.

According to the report, Alibaba also announced partnerships between Juhuasuan, its group-buying platform, and 26 foreign embassies in China.

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Eleven countries, including the U.S., France, Britain, Switzerland, Malaysia and Spain, have agreed to participate in the foreign version. Called Tmall Global, its so-called "country pavilions" products from each country are offered alongside travel information.

South Korea was the first country to launch a pavilion at Alibaba's Tmall.

Tmall Global was launched only last year, but it was not well received and by the end of 2014, Tmall Global's traffic was only a fraction of that on Alibaba's other marketplaces. According to data provider Alexa Internet, Tmall's site ranked no. 311 out of about 3,500 in terms of popularity in China, while Alibaba's Taobao and mainland Tmall sites ranked nos. 2 and 5, respectively.

According to the foreign brands on the platform, Alibaba restricted them from buying ads at that time, while some shops claimed they were able to sell only a handful of products each month and had thought of leaving the site.

In April, however, Tmall started only allowing brands and authorized resellers, closing many of the "gray-market goods," or those who sell authentic products but with no brand authorization.

On the other hand, Juhuasuan, Alibaba's group-buying e-commerce platform,will sell and promote the products of the 26 countries that have joined the new Tmall Global platform.

Reports said that Alibaba shares have dropped by about 18 percent this year as stocks closed on June 23.