China’s Alibaba aims to overtake Walmart in 2016 as world’s biggest retail firm

China’s Alibaba aims to overtake Walmart in 2016 as world’s biggest retail firm

Chinese e-commerce juggernaut Alibaba, whose transactions on its e-commerce platforms have topped that of Amazon and eBay combined, is now expecting to overtake Walmart in 2016 as the world’s biggest retail firm.

Alibaba CEO Jonathan Lu told Reuters that the company is aiming to nearly triple the volume of transactions on its marketplace platforms to about CNY3 trillion ($490 billion) by 2016, surpassing US giant Walmart. It seems that to reach this aim, Alibaba has also been beefing up its expansion roadmap by diving into the US market recently with a substantial investment in two-day shipping service Shoprunner.

To solidify its leadership position at home, Alibaba is planning to invest $16 billion in logistics and support in China’s retail industry by 2020, Reuters reports.

Alibaba is also putting in more effort to process data about its consumers as competition heats up, with brick-and-mortar companies setting up their own e-commerce branches and other online retailers jumping into the fray.

The data will help Alibaba gauge supply and demand for its products, as well as zoom in on areas in which it needs to invest more resources. This includes setting up new warehouses and fine-tuning the movement of goods traded on Alibaba’s e-commerce sites Taobao and Tmall — which Reuters notes accounted for 3 billion of the 5.69 billion parcels moved around China last year.

Other than global investments, Alibaba has also made moves to bring its marketplace model overseas. Last month, it launched its Taobao marketplace in Singapore, seeking to make its mark in Southeast Asia after using Hong Kong and Taiwan as a stepping stone a year ago to make the jump overseas.

Headline image via Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images

Read next: Smart move: This app lets you play Connect Four with your iPhone 5c case