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Alibaba recruits army of 'influencers' for global ecommerce drive

Livestreaming captivates China but foreign markets pose their own challenges

Valentina Avalon drops a speaker into water to test its waterproofing. Influencers such as Avalon are part of Alibaba's international growth plans. (Photo courtesy of Valentina Avalon)

HONG KONG -- Valentina Avalon has spent an hour on a video call, talking about her clothes.

"It was very difficult to find clothes with this color," she says as she stands next to a closet at her home in Kharkiv, Ukraine, holding a pair of lavender trousers. "This color is fashionable and very beautiful. As you can see, I like it very much."

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