Chinese etail titan Alibaba is overhauling its business model in order to better compete with Amazon on a global scale.

The ecommerce group will make changes to AliExpress – a website that sells goods from Chinese retailers to 150 countries – allowing retailers from other markets to sell goods through the platform.

AliExpress has opened the site to overseas retailers, allowing small and medium-sized businesses in Russia, Turkey, Italy and Spain to register and sell their products to other countries. 

Alibaba said a “good foundation” of businesses from the four countries have already registered to sell through AliExpress, although it declined to give exact numbers.

Alibaba has plans to roll out the service to other countries in the future as part of its “local to global” plan.

President of Alibaba’s wholesale marketplace division Trudy Dai told the Financial Times: “From the very first day that Alibaba was founded we had a global dream.

“This year is the first year for our ‘local to global’ strategy.” 

Alibaba’s global plans will be spearheaded by AliExpress, which registred a 94% spike in sales in its 2018 financial year. The ecommerce giant is also focusing on growing Lazada, its website that sells in Southeast Asia.

Haitong director Billy Leung said Alibaba’s global growth plan was aimed at offsetting “declining growth in China itself”.

Leung said: “They are at the point when they need a lot of growth to come from AliExpress and Lazada and other international businesses.”