PARIS (Reuters) - AXA on Friday said it had forged a global partnership with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and its Ant Financial Services unit to distribute the French insurance group's products and expand in China.

"Thanks to Alibaba’s unrivaled knowledge of its home market, this partnership will also help us further accelerate our development in China, where we are already the number 1 international insurer," Thomas Buberl, deputy chief executive of Axa said in a statement.

(Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; editing by Richard Lough)