Marijn Van Tiggelen, Unilever’s North Asia president, said: “Alibaba has changed the shopping habit of Chinese consumers. Its mission is to make it easy to do business everywhere, and its vision is to build the future infrastructure of commerce. This meets Unilever’s development needs in China.” Unilever will be expanding its application of big data to optimise its digital advertising strategy through Alimama – Alibaba’s online marketing business. The company is also set to collaborate with Alibaba’s Blue Star programme, where each product is tagged with a unique QR code that allows the consumer to verify its authenticity and origin. This comes at a time when food and product safety scandals in China have prompted demand for goods manufactured in other countries. Half of Chinese food plants failed inspections in 2014, while a Chinese subsidiary had reportedly sold expired meat to fast food chains such as McDonald’s and KFC. By Shané Schutte
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