Alibaba seeks to diversify from e-commerce into the offline world, through its latest manufacturing division, a first wholly-owned Chinese smart factory, according to Reuters. The Hangzhou factory site will help China’s small merchants to meet customer demands more quickly. 

  • The new company division will expand by getting more companies to use its services and scaling up some parts of its technology.
  • The new factory will serve the “long tail” of the apparel industry, consisting of blossoming online brands that lack advanced manufacturing services.
  • Alibaba also runs a supermarket chain called Freshippo, launched in January 2016, and a program to help small convenience stores with product sourcing and data analytics.
  • In Hangzhou, Alibaba runs a mall and hotel, which serves as pilot projects to test its new retail technology. 

Alibaba stock is currently declining. BABA: NYSE is down 8.48%