Alibaba to host conference in Detroit for entrepreneurs
Alibaba group announced today they will be hosting Gateway 17 in Detroit, Michigan on June 20-21, 2017.
- Do you need a business bank account for your online business? Have a look at our review of the five best bank accounts for sellers, some of which are free with no minimum balance or deposits.
- AI can change your entire social media game today. Learn how you can save time writing engaging content faster. [sponsored]
- How to lower your taxable income and pay less in taxes. [sponsored]
- ‘My Community Made’ is a new marketplace to compete with Etsy and Amazon Handmade.
- EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Chris Prill, VP eBay Motors, discussing the new Guaranteed Fit program.
Gateway 17 is a new conference to help entrepreneurs, U.S. businesses, and farmers. This conference will explore opportunities to reach millions of consumers in China.
The inaugural conference will take place at the Cobo Center in Detroit. You can find out more about attending the conference here.
Expected keynote speakers include UPS Chairman and CEO David Abney, Anchor and Executive Editor Charlie Rose, and Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma.
Organizers expect to draw nearly 1000 attendees from across the United States. And the conference already attracted a list of well-known eCommerce related sponsors.
- Pitney Bowes
- Fung Global Retail & Tech
- Deloitte Digital
- Illinois Chamber of Commerce
The event also includes category breakout sessions, business solutions sessions, and marketplace networking opportunities.
CONFERENCE TO OPEN EYES ABOUT TRADING WITH CHINA
In a letter to potential participants, Jack Ma points out a few interesting facts about the opportunity to trade with Chinese consumers.
Alibaba started about 2 years ago to work with U.S. businesses to identify opportunities in the Chinese market. So far, they have helped thousands of businesses and believe this is only the beginning.
The Chinese middle-class may exceed 600 million consumers by 2020. That is near twice the size of the entire population of the United States.
Last year, China surpassed the U.S. as the largest retail market with spending topping $4.84 trillion. By next year, China’s online spending will be greater than the rest of the world combined.
DETROIT NOT JUST A SYMBOLIC LOCATION
According to Jack Ma, Detroit was chosen as it is home to some of America’s greatest ingenuity and innovation.
But Detroit is likely not only a symbolic location choice by Alibaba. It may also help Alibaba to educate middle America on the positive opportunities of global trade.
The U.S. Midwest suffered the most with manufacturing job losses through the years. Because shifting production from the US to less expensive labor markets has resulted in many job losses.
By helping SMBs in the Midwest reach consumers in China, Alibaba hopes to boost U.S. employment. In turn, this should help Alibaba change opinions in Washington about significantly restructuring trade deals.
CHINESE MARKET HAS PITFALLS
Selling to the Chinese market does have some pitfalls. It will be interesting to see if Alibaba addresses the concern about knocks offs and fakes.
Sending a U.S. produced product to Chinese consumers is likely going to increase the risk of cheap knock-offs flooding the global market. That is one of the biggest fears of U.S. producers.
There is a growing Chinese consumer base that values genuine foreign produced products. This group may be much smaller than the Chinese middle class that Jack Ma suggests in his letter to participants.
It will be interesting to see if and how Alibaba addresses those fears.
Certain market categories like agricultural products, limited edition products, designer products, etc. are a good fit. But to reach the goal of a million jobs for Americans, will require mass produced products.
How will Alibaba convince skittish U.S. companies with mass appeal products to sell to China?
Do you fear to sell to China? Let us know your thoughts on selling to China. We love to hear what you think how your business category might fit into a Chinese consumer market strategy.
Connect with us: Head over to our Facebook Group for Small Business Sellers and interact with other small business owners.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to stay up to date with relevant news and business insights for your online business.
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Business Insights for Your Online Business Presented with a Dash of Humor
We do not share your information and you can unsubscribe anytime.
Richard is co-founder of eSeller365. He has over 17 years of experience on eBay which includes tens of thousands of sales to buyers in over 100 countries and even has experience with eBay’s VeRO program enforcing intellectual property rights for a former employer. And for about two years Richard sold products on Amazon using Amazon FBA in the US.
To “relax” from the daily business grind, for a few weekends a year, he also works for IMSA as a professional race official.