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Alibaba to begin operations in France

China-based e-commerce group Alibaba will open offices in Paris in October, potentially in partnership with French mail service La Poste, Le Monde has reported20 Mar 2015

Alibaba chief executive Jack Ma told French president François Hollande that the company will open an "Alibaba embassy" in the French capital to allow French businesses to sell to Chinese consumers, Le Monde said.

A member of Hollande's team said that Hollande and Ma also discussed the development of a European supply chain for Alibaba by La Poste, Le Monde reported.

Foreign affairs minister Laurent Fabuis agreed a partnership with Alibaba when he visited China in May 2014, Le Monde said.

On a second visit in October, Fabuis and Ma discussed the possibility of a logistics platform for delivering European products to Chinese consumers, the paper said.

Alibaba recently announced partnerships with two UK start ups to provide finance for smaller companies to use to buy from China.