Alibaba Group is working on the European part of its “gateway to China” strategy.

The Internet giant is opening offices in Munich and Paris and hired Terry von Bibra as managing director of Alibaba Group Germany and Sébastien Badault, who will carry the same title for France.

The fast-growing company called the appointments an important milestone and “a critical part of the company’s globalization strategy to serve as a ‘gateway to China’ for international brands and businesses of all sizes.”

The idea is to better serve the company’s partners and would-be partners in Europe.

Alibaba said the new outposts would be one-stop shops for “local business that will encompass the entire scope of Alibaba Group’s ecosystem.”

“Alibaba’s France and Germany country offices will help identify the most suitable local products for the Chinese market, help merchants sell on Alibaba’s platforms, assist with outbound and inbound logistics, and facilitate online payments for Chinese consumers and offline payments for Chinese tourists,” the company said.

Before joining Alibaba, von Bibra was chief retail officer omnichannel for the Karstadt chain, which Hudson’s Bay Co. acquired in September. Before that von Bibra helped establish Amazon in Europe and also worked at Yahoo.

Badault was one of the first employees for both Amazon France and Google France. Most recently, he oversaw the development of Google’s strategic customers in Southern Europe, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa as global account director.

Both report directly to Michael Evans, president of Alibaba Group.

“In Europe, our top priority is to engage with existing local partners and help European brands, retailers, small businesses and government partners understand the opportunities China offers and how Alibaba can help them access this market,” Evans said.

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