Riches to be made in Kiwi e-commerce

A top executive from one of China's biggest e-commerce companies believes there are riches to be made for Kiwi exporters.

The comments were made by e-commerce giant Alibaba's executive at the New Zealand China Business Forum in Wellington on Sunday.

Alibaba is valued at close to $700 billion and boasts more than half a billion users. 

Now the company has New Zealand in its sights.

Alibaba is responsible for China's biggest online sales event, held every November 11. This year they grossed $36.4 billion in sales in just 24 hours, processing 1.48 billion individual transactions. 

Alibaba Australia and New Zealand managing director Maggie Zhou told the New Zealand China Business Forum companies can have a slice, if they embrace change. 

"They need to have the commitment to this market," Ms Zhou said, "to put more resources into that, including talent, maybe the Chinese-speaking employees working in their company." 

There are already 400 New Zealand businesses on Aliababa's equivalent of Trade Me, called T-Mall. They've been helped by a memorandum of understanding signed last April between former Prime Minister Sir John Key and Alibaba's founder, Jack Ma. 

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says it's a massive opportunity. 

"Well it's huge; it's enormous," he told Newshub. "It's not just China; it's also around Asia and around the world." 

Alibaba is also planning to introduce to New Zealand its electronic payment system AliPay, which has half a billion Chinese users. 

Only 13 percent of Chinese travellers to New Zealand have a credit card, so AliPay would make it much easier for them to spend money while holidaying here.  

Sunday's business forum comes ahead of Monday's New Zealand China Mayoral Forum, when 12 Chinese Mayors and 38 New Zealand Mayors will meet to discuss boosting bilateral trade.