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China's Alibaba Group to invest more abroad as global expansion is top priority. (Reuters)

China's Alibaba Group Holding will invest heavily in existing and new ventures abroad, making expansion beyond the mainland a top priority, the e-commerce giant's new CEO Daniel Zhang has said.

Zhang said if Alibaba does not globalise, it will not be able to last a 100 years - a goal set out by executive chairman Jack Ma.

Alibaba, which handles more e-commerce than Amazon.com and eBay combined, will continue to invest heavily in new and existing overseas operations, Zhang said.

Those operations included AliExpress, a platform that allows foreign consumers to buy Chinese goods, and Tmall Global, a marketplace for overseas goods to be sold online in China.

Zhang's comments come at a time when the likelihood of e-commerce saturation in China looms over the company.

"We must absolutely globalise," Zhang said in his first speech since assuming office this week, Alibaba's news and commentary website Alizila reported on 14 May.

"We will organise a global team and adopt global thinking to manage the business, and achieve the goal of 'global buy and global sell'," Zhang was quoted as saying.

The vast bulk of Alibaba's revenue comes from its dominant domestic online marketplaces, but the company has been investing in a range of sectors abroad.

Earlier in the week, it announced it will set up a cloud computing base in Dubai, and boosted its stake in US e-retailer Zulily.

In the three months ended 31 March, Alibaba's revenue from China trade grew 39% to $2.2bn. Revenue from international trade rose 27% to $264m and accounted for just 9% of revenue, compared to 11% in the same period a year earlier.