Alibaba eyes European expansion from London

CHINESE e-commerce firm Alibaba has opened a new European headquarters in London in an attempt to accelerate its expansion outside of China.<br /><br />The world&rsquo;s largest business-to-business online marketplace, which has based its new home in the West End, has also announced the launch of a multi-million dollar global advertising campaign to aid its overseas growth.<br /><br />Alibaba, which runs an eBay-style platform connecting small businesses with suppliers and partners, said that the current economic downturn provides an ideal backdrop for expansion.<br /><br />&ldquo;In the UK alone we have had a 55 per cent increase in user numbers in the last year, and in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region it is even higher, around 80 per cent,&rdquo; Maggie Choo, general manager of Alibaba&rsquo;s European operations, told the Financial Times.