Alibaba (BABA) executive chairman Jack Ma recently made the bold prediction that Alibaba would hit $1 trillion in gross merchandise value (GMV) by the 2020 fiscal year, and eventually serve two billion customers by 2036.  Although Alibaba currently dominates the enormous Chinese market, achieving such lofty goals obviously would require a significant global expansion.

“If a company can serve two billion consumers, that is one-third of the total population of the world,” Ma told about 400 investors at its annual investor day event in Hangzhou, China last week. “If a company can create 100 million jobs, that is probably bigger than most governments can do. If a company can support 10 million profitable businesses on its platform, this is called an economy.”

Expanding beyond its stronghold in China has long been a goal of Alibaba’s. Shortly after Daniel Zhang was named CEO in 2015, he said the company “must absolutely globalize and it must be a successful effort.”

Last year, Alibaba absorbed Southeast Asian e-commerce platform Lazada, which helped spur Alibaba’s 56% revenue growth overall for the year to $23.3 billion. The company is also partnering with Argentina to make it easier for the country to sell wine and produce on its platforms.

Alibaba’s international platforms Lazada and AliExpress, a B2C platform that allows Chinese companies to sell their items to international consumers, had a combined 83 million annual active buyers for the past year ended March 31, with their combined revenue increasing 233% year-over-year to $1.066 billion. But the company still has a ways to go.

Source: The Street