Alibaba Group on Thursday expanded its partnership with Yiwu, a city in China’s Zhejiang province that is home to the world’s largest wholesale market, with plans to digitize a new bonded zone to streamline the flow of cross-border goods in the city as well as provide innovative solutions to help small businesses offset the impact of Covid-19.
The comprehensive bonded zone – a classification that offers companies engaged in trade with favorable taxation policies, eased administrative procedures and integrated logistics and manufacturing facilities – is part of Alibaba’s efforts to digitize trade infrastructure for Yiwu, China’s second hub in the Electronic World Trade Platform.
As part of the partnership, Alibaba will work with the municipal government of Yiwu to customize a digital system that accelerates customs clearance for small-parcel international shipments. The service, expected to launch next month, will improve efficiency for overseas merchants making e-commerce deliveries to Chinese consumers.
“With its advantages as a product and SME hub as well as its existing trade infrastructure, Yiwu is the definition of strategic planning for enabling businesses to navigate the digital age,” said Daniel Zhang, chairman and chief executive officer of Alibaba Group. “Alibaba will work together with Yiwu to further facilitate the city’s transformation into a digitized small-commodities trading hub and digitized port as a step toward the collective goal of complete digitization of global trade.”