Alibaba exports 100,000 Chinese crayfish to Russia amid World Cup season

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is currently shipping about 100,000 crayfish to Russia, so that those attending the World Cup can enjoy a feast.

The crayfish are exported through a poverty alleviation project via Alibaba, that aims to broaden the overseas market of Chinese agricultural products.

Samples were given away in Moscow on June 30, attracting hundreds of soccer fans from Russia, France and Spain, who all thoroughly enjoyed the tasters.

Crayfish are normally sold at $76 to $80 per kilogram in local restaurants, while they only cost $12 per kilogram to buy via Alibaba’s online platforms. According to a chef at restaurant La Provincia, the restaurant purchased 300 kilograms of crayfish less than a week ago, and they are already the most popular dish on the menu.

A local official said that Russian crayfish can only be found in the wild, but Chinese crayfish are artificially bred, so they are bigger in size and of better quality. He believes Chinese crayfish will become extremely popular in Russia.

Alibaba is exploring new markets for Chinese agricultural products through projects like this, said Huang Aizhu, senior director of Alibaba’s rural business department. She said all agricultural products under Alibaba will have export options to increase farmers’ income.

“Poverty alleviation through e-commerce is not only about selling products, but also about improving supply-chain and quality standards of these products on the supply side through big data and other new technologies,” Huang noted.