Monday, 10 January 2011

Chinese ecommerce site Alibaba has 57m users

"[Jack Ma] started Alibaba in 1999, to help small firms find customers and suppliers without going through costly middlemen. now claims to have 57m users, including some in nearly every country. It is sometimes likened to eBay, but is more like an online Yellow Pages.
Another venture [also owned by Alibaba Group],, sells to consumers. It has 300m customers and shifted $29 billion-worth of goods in 2009. It is like a scrappy cross between Amazon and eBay: it operates an online mall where vetted sellers can hawk their wares, and a site where anyone with a Chinese identity number can sell anything legal to anyone. It generates money through advertising.
Alibaba’s staff boast of the businesses they have nurtured. One Chinese village had a stack of rabbit meat, having skinned the creatures for fur. The chief asked for suggestions. A villager sold the lot on More commonly, clients are small firms that want to link cheaply to the global market. Machine-makers in Turkey or Britain use Alibaba to find cheap suppliers in China without having to go there. Buyers can read reviews that others have written about each seller, which fosters trust, though it is far from foolproof."
Source:  The Economist, 29th December 2010

No comments: