Is E-commerce Giant Alibaba Setting up Shop in Vancouver?

Last week Prime Minister Stephen Harper shared a stage with Chinese e-commerce billionaire Jack Ma during Day 1 of his trade trip to China.

Alibaba became one of the most valuable tech companies in the world in September with a public offering of stock that raised $25 billion.

Yesterday Alibaba broke spending records as shoppers took advantage of “singles’ day” – by day’s end, sales through Alibaba exceeded $9.3 billion, nearly double the tally for last year’s total Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday online sales in the U.S.

‎Ma, who started the company 15 years ago out of his apartment in Hangzhou, now employs 30,000 to serve customers, many of whom are from China’s upwardly-mobile population.

Industry Minister James Moore tagged along with Harper and met Ma as well. As a result of that meeting Moore tweeted that “Alibaba is seriously considering a new campus in Vancouver.”If true, this won’t be Ma’s first business transaction originating from Canadian soil. According to reports, when Ma decided to name his enterprise Alibaba he had to buy the domain name from a Vancouver domainer who had previously registered it. 

If it’s up to Vancouver mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe Alibaba will be in Vancouver sooner rather than later. If his NPA is victorious at this week’s election, LaPointe will establish a Mayor’s Innovation Council to attract technology investment to Vancouver.

“The City of Vancouver must do all it can to attract investment to our tech sector,” says LaPointe. And if the CEO of China’s Alibaba Group is mulling opening a North American office in Vancouver. “An NPA Council will fight to make that happen.”