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Chinese language buyers purchase 80,000 Thai durians in a single minute

Promotion comes after China and Thailand strikes deal to sell Thai goods online

If the mail smells funky over the next few days, someone around you could be one of the consumers in China who ordered 80,000 Thai durians a minute after an online promotion started last Thursday.

The flurry of sales, which took place on Alibaba’s Tmall platform, comes after China and Thailand struck a deal to sell products from the Southeast Asian nation on the e-commerce website on April 19.

In a ceremony held in Bangkok, Alibaba’s co-founder and executive chairman Jack Ma closed a ¥3 billion deal with the Thai government, represented by Thai deputy prime minister Dr Somkid Jatusripitak, to sell their agricultural products for three years. Sixty seconds after the deal was closed, 80,000 Thai Monthong durians, weighing a total of 200,000 kilograms, were snapped up by Chinese shoppers.

“We still have bananas, we still have many agricultural products, and we still have rice,” Dr Jatusripitak said at the event after witnessing the orders.

Besides durian, rice, bananas, and other farmed goods from Thailand will be sold through Alibaba’s online and offline retail channels, including Tmall, Hema cashless supermarkets, as well as RT-Mart.

The value of China’s fresh imports of durian fruit has climbed an average of 26 percent a year over the past decade, reaching $1.1 billion (¥6.9 billion) in 2016, according to United Nations data. The market is currently dominated by Thai durians, but Malaysia is negotiating with Chinese authorities for whole-fruit exports of Malaysian durians within this year.

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