Hugely Successful Chinese Online Platform Seeks To Further Globalize Its Brand With Expansion Of US Business
Jack Ma hopes his company, Alibaba, can become a truly global brand
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.
Recent Interest By Chinese Automakers In Established Brands Like Volvo, Saab Show Their Global Ambitions; But Will Western Consumers Choose To “Drive Chinese”?
Can BYD crack the American luxury car market? Only time will tell.
With well-known auto brands like Sweden’s Volvo and Saab up for sale, Chinese brands Geely, Beijing Automotive and FAW — relative unknowns in the global car market — have been in the news as possible suitors. It is no secret that Chinese automakers have their sights set on the export market, and want to see their vehicles gain popularity on lucrative markets like North America. Here, though, is the largest opportunity as well as the most significant challenge faced by Chinese car brands, a bit of a catch-22: while China is the world’s largest auto market — owing, naturally, to its vast population — Chinese car companies need to develop their luxury fleets and export more in order to turn a substantial profit, but for higher-priced vehicles, Chinese consumers virtually always choose foreign-made automobiles, and Chinese brands are almost completely unknown by luxury car buyers abroad.
At the same time, Chinese carmakers must come up against biases about the perceived quality of their products — fostered, perhaps in a large proportion, by the fact that Chinese brands have absolutely no brand equity abroad, since:
1.) most of these companies are only a few years old, and
2.) reports about Chinese-made vehicles tend to be on the sensationalist side and focus on a quality gap or on perceived “counterfeiting” of car models. While many of the problems faced by Chinese carmakers abroad boil down to sloppy or simply “bad” PR, it is, in some ways, understandable that non-Chinese car buyers know little about Chinese car companies — because many Chinese car buyers don’t know much about them either. Quite simply, they need to work harder to differentiate themselves, pin down strong brand messaging, and really push hard to ensure they conform to all safety and emissions standards — or exceed them.
Posted in Automobile, Business, China, Investment, Luxury
Tagged america, auto, automotive, Beijing auto, beijing automotive, BYD, China, FAW, geely, honda, hyundai, japan, kia, korea, Luxury, luxury car, north america, saab, toyota, US, USA, volvo, warren buffett
China’s 4 Trillion Yuan Stimulus Takes Hold, Picking Up Slack For Lower Export Figures
Slowing Exports, but growing domestic growth, may help China's recovery come sooner rather than later
Results coming out of China this week show that the government’s massive 4 trillion RMB ($586 billion) stimulus package — which is designed to boost domestic consumption, inland infrastructure construction, and earthquake reconstruction projects — coupled with a recent 30.5% boost in urban fixed-asset investment in the first four months of this year are helping the world’s third-largest economy get back on a solid growth track earlier than many other major world economies.
This is good news for China as well as the global economy, which pins much of the hopes of a relatively quick recovery on China’s domestic consumption. As Chinese consumers start to head back to shops, and manufacturers start to work their way up to higher capacity, demand for all kinds of products, both imported and domestically-produced, will help America, the EU, and Japan breathe slightly more easily. Bloomberg’s article today on China’s recovery progress gives encouraging signs that the country’s efforts to stem the financial crisis by investing huge amounts into infrastructure projects that should pay off in the long term should have a far-reaching ripple effect:
Posted in Business, China, Economics, Economy, Investment
Tagged associated press, bloomberg, China, Economy, europe, infrastructure, japan, nomura, recovery, stimulus, trade, US, wen jiabao