AXA is hoping to get into the global e-commerce game through a new partnership formed with China’s online marketplace giant Alibaba.
The arrangement actually involves three parties: AXA, Alibaba and Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial Services. They’re not disclosing financial specifics, but the agreement calls for them to find ways to distribute AXA’s insurance products and services through Alibaba’s global e-commerce platforms.
The companies plan to work together to develop products and services, while developing and exploring new markets and segments, AXA said in a statement.
The first phase of the proposed collaboration will focus on developments in the following areas:
- AliExpress, a retail marketplace targeted at consumers worldwide. AXA would develop and provide insurance products for AliExpress’ global customers, such as extended warranties for repairs and/or damaged goods and enhanced online payment protection;
- Alibaba’s wholesale marketplaces (Alibaba.com, 1688.com). AXA would provide insurance products to small and medium businesses from all over the world, which are already trading on these platforms;
- Ant Financial Services (an Alibaba-affiliate which provides financial services). AXA would offer travel insurance products for Chinese travelers going overseas.
These insurance products and services would be developed by AXA’s local entities according to the customers’ local requirements, AXA said.
“Forming partnerships with the most forward-thinking companies is part of our strategy to seize new business opportunities,” said Thomas Buberl, deputy CEO of AXA.
He said the collaboration with Alibaba could provide AXA “with a unique global and direct distribution channel….”
With Alibaba’s in-depth knowledge of its home market, “this partnership will also help us further accelerate our development in China…,” Buberl continued
“As cross-border e-commerce grows rapidly, it is critical that we evolve our services and offerings to the businesses and consumers that conduct trade on our platforms,” said Michael Evans, president, Alibaba Group. “The collaboration between AXA and Alibaba will enable us to create new solutions and ultimately improve the overall customer experience.”