Alibaba Jack MaAlibaba will partner with German group IFA in staging consumer electronics show in April to rival the annual international CES event in Las Vegas

Jack Ma, founder and chairman of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba, addresses the closing ceremony of 2015 World Internet Conference in Wuzhen on December 18. Photo: Xinhua.  E-commerce giant Alibaba Group is making a big foray into mainland China’s trade exhibition industry this year, with an eye to drum up more business for its online retail operation.

The Hangzhou-based company’s business-to-consumer platform has partnered with the organisers of the Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin, more widely known as the IFA, to stage the inaugural “Consumer Electronics China” show in Shenzhen from April 20 to 22.

Yin Jing, Alibaba’s general manager for 3C products and home appliances, announced that alliance and competitive domestic trade show in his speech last week at the international Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.  The annual IFA show, which is organised by the German Association for Entertainment and Consumer Electronics in cooperation with Messe Berlin, is one of the world’s leading trade shows for consumer electronics and home appliances.

Sandy Shen, an analyst at technology research firm Gartner, yesterday said Alibaba’s efforts to establish a major new trade show will not only help suppliers in Shenzhen, but also Tmall’s competitiveness as an online e-commerce platform for so-called 3C products — computers, communications and consumer electronics.  Shen said the planned new mainland trade show with the IFA organiser “can help Tmall differentiate from JD’s consumer electronics business by becoming a platform for new and innovative products”.

The German association behind the IFA has 14 corporate associates,including high-end domestic appliances maker Miele, Dutch electronics giant Philips and the German units of Samsung Electronics, Sony, Sharp and Panasonic.  For consumer electronics suppliers based in Shenzhen, the new Alibaba-backed trade show could help give a much-needed boost to their sales amid the country’s lingering economic slowdown.

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