October 20, 2010 / 8:08 AM / 9 years ago

Alibaba plans China logistics investments -sources

SHANGHAI, Oct 20 (Reuters) - China’s largest e-commerce firm Alibaba Group plans to invest heavily in logistics with the aim of building 32 distribution centres in China within the next 2 years, sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

The plan, in its initial stage, has no detailed investment amount but does not exclude the possibility of setting up a separate company, one source with knowledge of the matter said.

Another source said the firm wanted to expand its reach to 52 cities in two years from 20 cities. It runs its current network through external partners and distribution centres.

Both sources declined to be named as the matter is not yet public.

Jack Ma, the charismatic founder of the company in which Yahoo Inc YHOO.O owns a 40 percent stake, believes that China’s logistics market is fragmented and does not offer optimal customer service, one source said.

Alibaba Group is the parent company of China’s top B2C firm Alibaba.com 1688.HK, China’s top e-commerce firm with a consumer focus, Taobao and the country’s leading e-payment, service Alipay. (Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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