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Alibaba Sets Sights on $155 Billion Seafood Market

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Mar. 25 2019, Updated 3:41 p.m. ET

Monetizing Chinese consumers’ appetite for seafood

Thai Union, a global seafood leader, is reportedly setting up a digital store on Alibaba’s (BABA) Tmall platform to sell a range of seafood brands in China. Previously, Thai Union’s seafood brands had mostly focused on European and North American markets.

According to Thai Union, China is important to its growth because of the country’s steadily expanding seafood market. The expansion could significantly boost Alibaba’s financials. Allied Market Research estimates that the global seafood market was worth $120.8 billion in 2016 and is poised to grow to $155.3 billion by 2023. The deal with Thai Union expands Alibaba’s pursuit of this enormous revenue opportunity, and supports its program to sell more international brands in China. China’s swelling middle-class population is fueling consumption, particularly of high-quality imported goods. Most of Alibaba’s revenue is from China.

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Alibaba’s revenue rose 41%

In fiscal 2019’s third quarter (ended in December), Alibaba’s revenue rose 41% YoY (year-over-year) to $17.1 billion, while JD.com’s (JD), Amazon’s (AMZN), and eBay’s (EBAY) grew 22.4%, 20%, and 6.0% YoY, respectively, in that quarter. Etsy’s (ETSY) revenue rose 46.8% YoY.

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