Chinese e-commerce major Alibaba is planning to enter India this year, a top company official has said.

“We are planning to enter the e-commerce business in India in 2016. We have been exploring very carefully the e-commerce opportunity in this country, which we think is very exciting on the backdrop of Digital India,” Alibaba Group president, J Michael Evans said in New Delhi after meeting Telecom minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad recently.

The company said it is evaluating all opportunities to build the business organically or look at any other thing that might come along.

Evans, who along with Alibaba Group’s global managing director K Guru Gowrappan met Prasad, said Alibaba plans to set up shop in India and work to serve both customers, consumers and small businesses because that is the history and the DNA of Alibaba.

“We have investments in both payments and e-commerce already and we will over the course of next year will figure about exactly what our strategy is,” Evans said.

After the meeting, Prasad said, “We hope Alibaba will come and have a good footprint in India, including the expanding business of ecommerce for which they are exploring the possibility. I have said very clearly that Alibaba is quite free to come and expand its footprint in India.”

Alibaba is said to be very keen to enter India in a big way, particularly in the e-commerce segment. The company is weighing the options whether to go on their own or tie up with a local entity.

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