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Alibaba aims big of smart home market

E-COMMERCE giant Alibaba is to tap into the growing smart home furniture market as it joined hands with a dozen domestic home appliance makers including Haier and Midea to build the largest smart home appliance online distribution platform as demand from consumers are picking up.

The company will also strengthen collaboration with these manufacturers to provide them with not only a sales channel but also services to tap the shift towards smart devices.

Alibaba expects sales of smart home appliances would make up over half of its overall home appliance transaction volume, according to Zhang Jianfeng, president of Alibaba's retail business group.

"We hope to provide home appliance makers with services including online retail capability, finance and logistics services as well as cloud computing capacity and software support," Zhang told an industry conference co-sponsored by Alibaba and China Household Electric Appliance Research Institute and industry consultancy China Market Monitor Co.

Most of the smart furniture purchasers are aged between 25 to 34 and over 80 percent of them have spent an accumulative of 100,000 yuan on Taobao and Tmall, a relatively high level compared with other online shoppers, Alibaba's figures showed.

The company also hopes to help home appliance makers to target potential consumers and offer tailor-made marketing services for them.

Juniper Research had estimated that China's smart home market will reach 140 billion yuan(US$22.6 billion) by 2018. 


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