Alibaba’s Cainiao opens LatAm headquarters in Brazil

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Alibaba’s logistics arm Cainiao has installed lockers in Brazil for local customers to pick up packages.


BEIJING — Ali Baba’Logistics arm Cainiao announced Monday the opening of its Latin American headquarters in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The expansion comes as China’s retail growth slows — for the first time, Alibaba did not release total sales for its flagship shopping festival Singles’ Day, which ended on Friday. The company’s international e-commerce platform, AliExpress, has recently turned to South Korea and Brazil, in addition to a year-long attempt to break into Europe.

Cainiao ships most AliExpress orders from China to Brazil, the company said, claiming it operates eight charter flights a week between the countries.

Low-cost drones and Bluetooth headphones are among the most popular products for local customers, the company said.

The logistics business, which also operates in China, accounted for 6% of Alibaba’s revenue in the quarter ended June 30.

Cainiao also works with local distributors in Brazil. The company officially opened a parcel sorting center in the country on Monday after opening sorting centers in Mexico City and Santiago, Chile, in October.

The company claims its local express delivery network covers more than 1,000 cities in Brazil, with one-day delivery to customers in Sao Paulo and a few other cities.

three year plan

Over the next three years, Cainiao plans to set up 1,000 more lockers in 10 cities in Brazil for package and grocery delivery. The company also said it intends to open nine more distribution centers in seven states of Brazil.

Cainiao said its expansion will also help Brazilian companies sell goods like coffee, nuts and propolis — a health product — to Chinese consumers through Alibaba’s Tmall e-commerce platform.

Alibaba’s logistics arm Cainiao has installed lockers in Brazil for local customers to pick up packages.


Alibaba acquired a majority stake in Cainiao in 2017. The logistics arm still makes deliveries and does business with other companies — the majority of Cainiao’s revenue comes from these third parties, according to a financial disclosure.

For the quarter ended June 30, the logistics business’ revenue rose 5% year-on-year to 12.14 billion yuan ($1.71 billion).

In contrast, Alibaba said revenue from its international retail business fell 3% year over year to $1.57 billion in the quarter, mostly due to challenges in the European market. China trade, by far the company’s largest business, saw sales decline 2% to $20.45 billion.

Alibaba is expected to release quarterly earnings on Thursday.

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