U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron today met with Jack Ma and other top executives of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group as the British head of state completed a second day of his three-day trade mission to China.
In a 15-minute, closed-door meeting in Shanghai that included Alibaba Group CEO Jonathan Lu, COO Daniel Zhang, and BritishAmbassador to China Sebastian Wood, Cameron and Ma were said to have discussed ways to raise the profiles of British brands and small businesses with Chinese consumers, as well as strategies for increasing bilateral trade and investment in the U.K.
Cameron and Ma, one of China’s best-known Internet entrepreneurs, also were on hand for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Alibaba Group and UK Trade & Investment, a government organization that promotes British exports. The parties agreed to work together to promote the sale of British-made goods on Alibaba-owned Tmall.com, China’s largest B2C website.
Alibaba.com, Alibaba’s international wholesale business website, opened an office in London in 2009. Alibaba.com has more than 2 million U.K. members, making Britain the website’s second-largest concentration of small businesses who use the website to source products from international suppliers.
Ma also met with a group of British business leaders traveling with Cameron’s trade delegation, among them Peter Williams, founder of Jack Wills, the British retail apparel chain, Julie Deane, managing director of Cambridge Satchel Co., and Ning Li, CEO of London-based furniture retailer MADE.