Hugely Successful Chinese Online Platform Seeks To Further Globalize Its Brand With Expansion Of US Business
Reuters reports today that Alibaba, the popular China-based B2B online portal, is looking to further build its brand through expansion into the US market. CEO Jack Ma today presented the new Ali Express (wholesale.alibaba.com) portal at a conference at the company’s headquarters in Hangzhou. The move to expand further in the US market follows the opening of a European headquarters and massive global marketing campaign for Alibaba:
[In addition to its online marketplace,] Alibaba Group is also the parent of Taobao, China’s largest online auction site, and Alipay, an online payment service provider.
The new platform is currently in a testing phase, said an Alibaba spokeswoman, declining to give more details.
Alibaba.com opened its European headquarters earlier this month and recently launched a $30 million global advertising campaign.
The firm has also said it is considering setting up a joint venture company in India to manage its B2B platform.
U.S. search engine Yahoo holds about 40 percent of Alibaba Group and has an investment of more than 1 percent in the listed firm.
This news follows the release of more good news for Alibaba, as Bloomberg reported today that Alibaba’s Taobao unit, “China’s biggest online commerce site for consumers,” may see revenues more than double last year’s nearly $60 million (400 million yuan), according to the company’s President, Jonathan Lu.
“Our advertising sales are increasing and the company is also getting more income from commissions,” Lu said in an interview in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, where Alibaba is based. Taobao may double its number of employees in two to three years from about 2,800 workers now, he said.
Taobao had 86.8 percent of China’s so-called consumer-to- consumer online commerce market in the second quarter, compared with 7.9 percent for second-ranked Paipai, a division of Tencent Holdings Ltd., according to researcher Analysys International.
The Web site had almost 145 million registered users at the end of June, who purchased 80.9 billion yuan of goods during the first half, according to Alibaba.