Thai durian feels the love from Alibaba’s China

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Immediately following Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group’s commitment on Thursday to invest a combined THB 11 billion (USD 351.2 million) into the Thai economy, Chinese consumers have already been busy making online purchases of one particular type of fruit from the kingdom.

None other than the ‘king of fruits’ – durian.

The instant a new online promotion went live on Alibaba’s business-to-consumer Tmall platform, orders for the Thai fruit started coming in and already amount to 80,000 monthong durians or 200 metric tonnes, fetching a price of CNY 199 (USD 31.6) for four to five kilograms according to the South China Morning Post.

Alibaba said it had clinched a three year deal on durian sales with Thailand worth CNY 3 billion (USD 476.76 million).

Commerce minister Sonthirat Sonthijirawong said e-commerce platforms like Tmall would enable Thai farmers and other producers to sell to China. Tmall.com is China’s largest online marketplace, reaching over 1.4 billion consumers.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma was in Bangkok on Thursday, meeting with prime minister Prayut Chan-ocha and deputy prime minister Somkid Jatusripitak and signing four memorandums of understanding (MoU) with the Thai government. It signaled the start of the e-commerce giant’s multi-billion baht investment that will cover trade, the digital economy, human resource development and tourism.

Ma was quoted in Thai media as saying the MoUs were the initial phase of Alibaba’s long-term commitment to be a strategic partner of Thailand.

Photo: Francis Chung

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