Mideast online retailer noon.com expands to China


Middle East online retail upstart noon.com said Thursday it was expanding into China, seeking partners in the country’s flourishing e-commerce industry to help it compete with Amazon in its home markets.

The $1 billion Internet retailer said it has launched its Asia operations with two entities in mainland China and Hong Kong.

“China’s booming e-commerce market has one of the most active marketplaces in the world,” noon.com founder Mohammed Alabbar said.

The firm plans to establish a “trusted network of high-quality Chinese brand owners,” to bring the best range of products to its customers in the Middle East.

Noon.com was launched in October by Dubai-based giant property developer Emaar in association with state-owned Saudi Public Investment Fund and a number of leading Gulf investors.

Its launch came a few months after global retail giant Amazon acquired the region’s biggest online retailer, Dubai-based Souq.com, for $650 million.

Noon.com currently makes deliveries to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the region’s largest economies.

Last month, the firm said it had signed a partnership agreement with eBay to allow online shoppers to buy products from the United States and other parts of the world.

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