Gateway ’17: Alibaba’s Mission to Help Small Business Owners Expand Globally

By 2022, China’s middle-class population is projected to grow to nearly twice the size of the entire U.S. population. That means over 600 million potential customers on the other side of the globe…if only you could access them. Fortunately, the game is changing; these days even small business owners can go global if they put in the time to educate themselves about the opportunities in this area. If you are looking for a crash course and a way to get your foot in the door, consider attending Alibaba’s Gateway '17 event, happening June 20-21 in Detroit, Michigan.

What Is Alibaba?

Chances are you might have heard of the company Alibaba, especially if you are in the e-commerce space, but if not, let’s get you up to speed. You’ve heard of Amazon, right? Well, Alibaba is basically the Chinese equivalent: a wildly popular online shopping portal that has become a household name.

Alibaba consists of three main sites: Taobao, Tmall, and, together making up the biggest online commerce company in China. These sites host millions of merchants and have 200 million consumers flocking to them each day. In fact, transactions totaled $485 billion in 2015. That is over four times that of Amazon, which reported $107 billion in total net sales in 2015.

About Gateway '17

Simply put, Gateway '17 is an event aimed at helping more U.S. small businesses get in on the action, “part of Alibaba’s pledge to help create one million American jobs by helping U.S. small businesses, entrepreneurs, and farmers sell to millions of Chinese consumers.” The event will include:

  • Information about the opportunities in China and industry trends in this region by product category.
  • An introduction to Alibaba’s suite of web-based sales, logistics, and digital marking solutions that make cross-border e-commerce easier.
  • Insight into Chinese consumers, including market research about who they are, what they buy, and how they shop.

The event will feature keynotes, informative sessions, and a marketplace expo where you can meet with experts and connect with potential partners and service providers. Registration is limited to small- and medium-sized businesses only.

A Message from Founder Jack Ma

Jack Ma founded Alibaba in 1999 in his apartment, with the dream of building a company that would serve millions of small businesses by making it easier to sell to customers online. Having achieved that goal for Chinese small businesses, they are now expanding the mission to bring in more small business owners from around the world, including the U.S.

“With new technology, American small businesses have the chance to grow globally, just like the big guys. That’s why we’re hosting Gateway '17 in Detroit this June.”

“At Alibaba, we fight for the little guy: the small businesses and their customers,” says Jack Ma in a special video message about Gateway '17. “With new technology, American small businesses have the chance to grow globally, just like the big guys. That’s why we’re hosting Gateway '17 in Detroit this June.”

To hear Jack Ma’s video message, learn more about Gateway '17, and register to attend, check out the Gateway '17 website.

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