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October 15, 2017 4:42 pm

Chinese E-Commerce Giant Alibaba to Open Research and Development Center in Israel

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The headquarters of the e-commerce giant Alibaba in Hangzhou, China. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. – Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba announced Wednesday it will open a research and development (R&D) center in Israel. The move is part of the company’s plan to unveil a series of R&D centers worldwide, with an investment of $15 billion.

Since April 2016, the Alibaba Group has been the world’s largest retailer with operations in over 200 countries. It’s also one of the largest internet companies, providing consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and business-to-business sales services via web portals. Its online sales and profits have surpassed all major US retailers combined — including Walmart, Amazon and eBay — since 2015.

With the new R&D center, Alibaba joins e-commerce giants such as Amazon and eBay, and more than 300 international companies, that already maintain facilities in the Jewish state.

In a message to Alibaba founder Jack Ma, Israeli Economy and Industry Minister Eli Cohen said, “Welcome to the land of innovation.”

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Cohen, who traveled to China in March with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, met Ma during the visit and invited him to invest in Israel.

During their conversation, Cohen joked with Ma, saying, “My daughters steadily increase their purchases from Alibaba, so it’s time for Alibaba to invest in Israel.”

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