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Cashing in on Alibaba's 9.9 online wine festival

Published:  12 September, 2016

Friday marked the first online wine festival that was hosted on e-commerce and trading platform Alibaba's TMall, which boasted more than 100,000 wines that went up for sale.

The date of the ninth of September was selected as Jui, which means nine, and also happens to sound phonetically like the word for alcohol and wine though it is a different character when written. Thus the name 9-9 was adopted and 9 September marked the day.

Many producers from around the world are hoping to capitalise and crack the Chinese wine market and the new platform is an attractive alternative. The success of other Alibaba's online days like Single Day on 11.11 or 11 November, has proved incredibly successful for retailers.

Wine Australia launched their own online store on, a cross-border platform, that is part of the Alibaba Group, just last week ahead of the big wine festival.

Andreas Clark, the chief executive of Wine Australia said: "The opening of the store is a landmark moment that builds on a year of strong growth for Australian wine in the Chinese export market. It opens up another commercial opportunity for Australian wineries to tap into China's growing appreciation for our fine wines."

According to statement released by Wine Australia the inaugural 9.9 event was a key driver in opening the online store.  China is now the second most valuable wine export market for Australian wines, which was up 50% last year and is valued at AU$419 million.

"The partnership between Tmall and Wine Australia will allow local winemakers to access the 434 million active consumers across our China retail marketplaces. As the domestic wine sector in China is yet to reach maturity and Australian wines are considered world-class and come at varied price points, the opportunity to sell to China's burgeoning middle class is significant," said Maggie Zhou, managing director of Australia and New Zealand markets for Alibaba.

Founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma, is trying to cash in on the opportunity of the growing number of wine drinkers in China. He announced the focus on an online wine market earlier this year while meeting with Prime Minster of Italy Matteo Renzi at Vinitaly in April 2016. Two months later, the company announced it was launching Wine Direct a division within Tmall that allows producers to sell direct to consumers.