Alibaba makes a play for the grey dollar
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Alibaba makes a play for the grey dollar

Alibaba has advertised two job openings that indicate a new strategy for the Chinese Ecommerce giant: getting over-60s shopping on their platforms. The jobs in question pay up to £45,000 a year, and only candidates aged 60+ will be considered. The company said that 1,200 applicants applied in the first 24 hours of the adverts going live, the eldest of which was 83. This isn’t the first time Alibaba has sought to soak up unlikely demographics. Just last year, the company started making a play for American “mom-and-pop” businesses looking to break into the Chinese online retail space.

Over the last 12 months, Alibaba’s share price has increased by 92%

graph 0125 alibaba

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

Alibaba is the world’s biggest online retailer by sales (annually, £420 billion). And it’s a dominant force in Chinese Ecommerce, occupying a coveted position as one of the “big three” Chinese internet companies (the other two being Dominion holdings Tencent and Baidu). However, it has yet to crack the code to getting the elderly online. The company is hoping to understand the appeal of brick-and-mortar shopping amongst the 60+ demographic, who often avoid things like using their bank details online.

The new roles will be “product experiencers” to help Alibaba understand what this age group are looking for in an internet experience. All applicants require is one year’s experience in online shopping and “amicable relations with their children”. Priority, however, will be given to “key opinion formers” which, for over-60s, means “square dance leaders” or “members of local neighbourhood committees”.


Dominion holds Alibaba in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.

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