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USPS works with Alibaba to boost consumerism

WASHINGTON, DC: The U.S. Postal Services (USPS) and Cainiao, Alibaba's logistics affiliate, are to develop enhanced shipping solutions for merchandise ordered by U.S. consumers on Alibaba's international online shopping platforms.

The move follows similar agreements with Singapore Post and Spanish Post.

In addition to helping provide more efficient shipping channels into the U.S. for Chinese merchants and manufacturers selling on Alibaba's AliExpress global-shopping website, the USPS will also work with Cainiao to expand its worldwide shipping capabilities, especially in South America.

A report by Accenture and AliResearch, Alibaba's research arm, expects the global B2C cross-border e-commerce market to grow from US$230 billion last year to US$1 trillion by 2020.

USPS internationalCainiao vice president Wan Lin called the agreement with the USPS "a key part of Alibaba's globalization strategy and our vision to enable consumers around the world to enjoy the convenience and benefits of e-commerce."

Cainiao and the USPS said they are aiming to make it easier and more efficient for Chinese companies to sell and deliver goods directly to the homes of U.S. consumers by improving the way goods purchased from China are processed and handled during international shipping.

Commenting on the U.S. and China economies Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma said: "In the U.S. when [the] economy is slowing down it means people don't have money to spend," he said. "You guys know how to spend tomorrow's money or future money or other people's money.

"China's been poor for so many years, we put our money in the bank" – adding that debt-free Chinese consumers still have spending power: "The consumption is still going up healthily and aggressively," Ma explained, noting online spending remains strong. "We have to build up this kind of behavior and make people spend money," he declared. "This is something government is not good at."

Ma said that China's economic transition is creating a better environment for start-ups and private companies like Alibaba while an anti-corruption drive is improving the rule of law in the country. "We see traditional businesses going down but the new economy is growing tremendously."

He noted that while government policy can be effective in stimulating exports and investment, "consumption is not done by government, it's done by entrepreneurship and the market economy. So we have a great opportunity. Now it's our turn, not the government's turn," he declared.

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