Is Alibaba Coming To Conquer Canary Wharf?

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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E-commerce titan set to move its UK headquarters from Mayfair, according to reports

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is set to move its UK headquarters from Mayfair to Canary Wharf in a major statement of intent regarding the global expansion of its business, reports have said.

The Sunday Times has reported that the company was planning to move to the heart of London’s business capital, with its new home at Level 28 of the iconic One Canada Square skyscraper, just below Canary Wharf’s financial technology (FinTech) start-up incubator Level39.

alibaba logo ©shutterstock Gil CLondon calling

Alibaba drew headlines around the world earlier this year when its IPO broke all records. The company raised over $25bn (£15.9bn) in its flotation on the New York Stock Exchange in September, making it more valuable than the likes of Facebook or Twitter.

The move should help cement Canary Wharf as one of London’s top tech hubs, particularly as it looks to rival the Tech City area around the Old Street roundabout.

Last week, Mayor of London Boris Johnson publicly backed a major redevelopment of the eastern edge of the site, known as Wood Wharf, by the Canary Wharf Group.

The project would help create up to 3,610 new homes, 1.9m square metres of office space and 35,000 square metres of retail floorspace, along with a community centre and a network of public squares.

Back in October, Canary Wharf Group partnered with Intel to launch a start-up accelerator programme aimed at developing smart city technologies. The scheme looked to find six pioeneers of the technology who would help drive cost savings in fields such as transport, construction and waste management.

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