Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant that has just opened its doors in Australia, may sell apartments on its platform in the immediate future reports AFR.
The $328 billion company, which opened an office in Melbourne on Saturday, will focus on products such as vitamins, dairy and agriculture, but has considered selling apartments on its platforms alongside facilitating the payment of deposits or settlements of apartments through its payment transactions service Alipay.
“It has been discussed internally,” Alibaba Australia New Zealand business development director John O’Loghlen said.
“This space is [currently] well serviced by the market and the Monika Tus of the world and they do a good job. Our focus is on small businesses but we’ve discussed it [selling real estate]. It is possible, as it is an area that is changing so fast.
“Alipay is the dominant platform for these transactions, but it is important that the Australian and Chinese tax bureaucracies are transparent. We are incredibly aware of the flows of money that it will attract.
“We have been on the front foot … engaging in this conversation.”
Should Alibaba decide to delve into the world of property transactions in Australia, its only current competitors, aside from local platforms of realestate.com.au and domain.com.au, would be Australia-based Chinese platforms ACProperty.com and its sister site Sodichan.com and Juwai.com’s new platform with Chinese internet giant Tencent.