Alibaba has signed a deal with Ford Motor to explore cooperation in areas such as cloud computing, connectivity and retail which could involve the sale of Ford cars on Alibaba’s online retail platform Tmall. Alibaba in a statement on Thursday said digital marketing-focused Alimama and operating system firm AliOS would be among subsidiaries working with Ford under the three-year agreement. One avenue under consideration is the sale of Ford cars on Tmall, an Alibaba spokeswoman said.
Reuters on Wednesday reported that Ford was planning to sign such a deal as it overhauls its China strategy to stimulate growth. “The agreement aims to explore new ways to redefine how consumers purchase and own vehicles, as well as how to leverage digital channels to identify new retail opportunities,” Alibaba said in its statement. The Chinese e-commerce firm and US automaker will initially “explore a pilot study” for new retail opportunities, Alibaba said.