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Alibaba and AWDC partner to bring Antwerp diamonds directly to Chinese consumers

07 november 2018

Antwerp World Diamond Centre and Alibaba Group announced that they have entered an exclusive partnership to offer Antwerp certified diamonds to Chinese consumers via Alibaba’s B2C marketplace, Tmall.
The organizations signed the agreement during the first China International Import Expo (CIIE), which is being held this week in Shanghai.

Nishit Parikh, President of AWDC and Jessica Liu, President of Tmall Fashion and Luxury, Alibaba Group, signing the cooperation agreement                                                                                                                                                     Image credit: AWDC

Jessica Liu, President of Tmall Fashion and Luxury, Alibaba Group, said that the partnership of Alibaba and AWDC would open new opportunities for business in the diamond industry.
“The growing demand of luxury goods in China is generating tremendous opportunities for international brands and businesses. The diamond market is benefiting from this trend too, as sales are on the rise and China represents now the world's second largest market in the world for polished diamonds,” she said. “Therefore, we are delighted to be the partner of choice of AWDC, and to give our more than half a billion consumers in China the chance to discover the unique sparkle of diamonds from the world's diamond capital city.”
Ari Epstein, CEO of AWDC, added that the cooperation of the two major organizations would enhance business ties between Belgium and China.
The Antwerp diamonds will be available under the name “Shape of Antwerp” on the namesake flagship store on the secured platform called Tmall. Each diamond is accompanied by an HRD Antwerp certificate detailing the 4Cs of the stone (cut, clarity, carat and color). Additionally, HRD will laser a QR code onto the girdle of each diamond, which will include its certificate. By scanning this code, blockchain technology will enable the customer in China to follow the journey of the diamond he or she purchased back to Antwerp.
Once consumers have selected a diamond, they can have the stone set into a piece of jewelry. The Shape of Antwerp diamonds and diamond jewelry will be sold exclusively via Alibaba’s Tmall platform: Shape of Antwerp Online Flagship Store. The collection will also be on display during the CIEE.

Victoria Quiri, Correspondent of the European Bureau, Rough&Polished, Strasbourg