signs NBA legend Tony Parker as brand ambassador ahead of Paris Olympics, a cross-border business-to-business e-commerce platform owned by Alibaba Group Holding, has signed French-American basketball star Tony Parker as its new brand ambassador ahead of the Paris Olympics, as the Chinese technology giant focuses more attention on the European market.

Advertisements featuring the four-time NBA championship winner will appear across the French capital at airports, train and metro stations, as well as on the famed Champs-Elysees, according to a WeChat post published by on Tuesday evening.

Parker “can use his proven experience to attract more overseas entrepreneurs and start-ups to buy from”, the post read, referring to him as a “successful basketball player-turned-entrepreneur”.

“Coupled with the sports boom in an Olympic year, the partnership will provide small and medium-sized enterprises in China with huge opportunities to expand to overseas markets.”

Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.

The latest marketing move by reflects widening efforts by the Hangzhou-based online shopping juggernaut to grow its international business amid tepid demand at home.

Europe is one of Alibaba’s key targets. The company currently offers five-day online-shopping delivery in Germany, France and Portugal, in addition to the US, Mexico and Saudi Arabia, supported by Alibaba’s smart logistics network Cainiao.

The Summer Olympics, which will take place from July 26 to August 11, are expected to draw around 10,500 athletes and between 2.3 million and 3.1 million ticket-holding visitors, according to the International Olympic Committee and the Paris Tourism Office.

To lure more European users, has planned a special sales campaign covering more than 15,000 merchants and over a million products ahead of the Games, according to Chinese media reports last week.

image will feature Tony Parker in advertisements across Paris during the 2024 Summer Olympics. Photo: Handout’s partnership with Parker comes weeks after its consumer-facing sibling AliExpress announced it had signed English soccer star David Beckham as its global brand ambassador.

Under that one-year partnership, Beckham will appear in a series of promotional campaigns, starting with television commercials during the month-long European Football Championship, which concludes on July 14. was launched in 1999 as an online directory to help overseas wholesalers find Chinese manufacturers. Today, the site is primarily used for supporting online transactions between Chinese suppliers and foreign businesses.

It is expected to achieve US$60 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) this year, a 20 per cent increase from US$50 billion last year, president Zhang Kuo told the Post in June. The platform recorded a sevenfold jump in GMV over the previous five years.



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