See More on Facebook

Business

Alibaba rolls out welcome mat to US businesses

The move seems to be designed to curb Amazon’s increasing influence.


Written by

Updated: July 25, 2019

Alibaba.com has begun a program that could help US small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) become big, really big.

The world’s largest global online business-to-business (B2B) marketplace announced on Tuesday that it is opening up its platform to manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors in the US to help them access a $23.9 trillion global B2B e-commerce market, one that is six times larger than the business-to-consumer (B2C) market.

It also means Seattle-based Amazon.com just picked up some major competition.

Alibaba, based in Hangzhou, in East China’s Zhejiang province, is aware of any political considerations amid the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China, although the two countries will resume trade talks on Monday in Shanghai.

“Despite all of the geopolitical tensions that exist in the world, between China and the US, we continue to build our US business carefully,” said Michael Evans, president of Alibaba, reported Yahoo Finance. Evans said he has been to Washington to talk about the e-commerce giant’s business plans in the US, so “we don’t surprise them”.

The B2B e-commerce market in the US will be worth $1.1 trillion this year, compared with the B2C market at $480 billion, according to Yahoo Finance.

Previously, US SMBs could only source, or buy, goods on Alibaba.com because the objective was to connect suppliers in China with buyers in overseas markets, largely in the US.

Now the US merchants will be able to sell to other US-based businesses. The change will open up markets to American merchants in countries served by Alibaba, including India, Brazil and Canada.

Roughly one-third of buyers on Alibaba.com are US-based. More than 95 percent of sellers are based in China.

For now, US sellers won’t have access to the massive Chinese market.

“Most small businesses are not digital, and they trade locally with their customers,” Alibaba’s President of North America B2B John Caplan said on CNN. “If you’re a Washington state-apple grower, if you’re a baseball bat-maker in Louisville, those businesses want customers around the US, and we’ve got millions on the platform.

“You get to compete and act like a multinational company in a way you’ve never had the tools or technology to be able to do so,” he said.

Alibaba has launched new features to support the on-boarding and marketing efforts of new US suppliers, or sellers, on the site.

“With 10 million active business buyers in over 190 countries and regions, we are reshaping B2B commerce by providing the tools and services needed for US SMB companies to compete and succeed in today’s global marketplace,” Caplan said in a press release Tuesday.

Sellers will get an interface for building and managing a digital store on the platform, along with tools on customer-relationship management (CRM), communications and digital marketing. Online payments will commence Wednesday, but won’t be immediately available to sellers in New York and Nevada, the company said.

Alibaba said “anchor sellers,” such as US companies Office Depot and Robinson Fresh, the produce division of logistics company C.H. Robinson, launched stores on Alibaba.com on Tuesday.

Alibaba.com representatives are currently touring the US to meet with business owners and explain how things work on the platform.

The first of the educational and networking events, called Build Ups, was held Tuesday in Brooklyn, New York, with upcoming events in Los Angeles (Friday) and Chicago (July 30).

Shares of Alibaba, which trade on the New York Stock Exchange, rose $4.09, or 2.35 percent, to close at $178.09 in Tuesday trading.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Asia News Network
About the Author: Asia News Network is a regional media alliance comprising 24 media entities.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Business

Indonesia slams Singapore for withholding information on nationals treated for COVID-19

Indonesia complains on Singapore insisting to withhold personal information of its citizens showing COVID-19 symptoms in Jakarta. The Indonesian government has complained that Singapore insists on withholding the personal information of several Indonesian citizens believed to have shown COVID-19 symptoms in Jakarta and tested positive for the lethal virus in the city-state. Jakarta said it was facing difficulties in tracing and isolating those who might have had contact with the patients, now being treated at Singaporean hospitals. “We have asked for the identities of the Indonesian nationals from Singapore. They did not give us the names. How are we going to conduct the tracing in Indonesia? Singapore is adamant on not disclosing their identities,”


By The Jakarta Post
March 13, 2020

Business

Seoul stocks sink, trigger first circuit breaker for 5 min in 8 years 

The Kospi plummeted more than 5 per cent during Thursday trading, which triggered the stock exchange to temporarily halt trading on Korea’s main bourse, as investor sentiments weighed on the coronavirus pandemic. The Korea Exchange activated a “sidecar,” meaning it temporarily halted the trading of shares, for five minutes around 1:04 p.m. after Kospi 200 index futures slipped over 5 percent. It was the first time the sidecar had been activated for the Kospi since Oct. 4, 2011, when Greece defaulted on its debts. “The temporarily halt trading was due to the plunging of the Kospi 200 index futures. They plummeted from 256.90 points to 243.90 points — down 13 points, or 5.06 percent at that time for over a minute,” a KRX official said. The s


By Asia News Network
March 12, 2020

Business

Final temporary hospital in Wuhan closes its doors

A total of 15 such hospitals, converted from exhibition halls, sports stadiums and warehouses, received more than 12,000 patients. All the 15 temporary hospitals built to exclusively receive novel coronavirus patients in Wuhan, Hubei province, have been closed, with the daily number of reported new cases hitting a record low. Wuchang Temporary Hospital, which was converted from a sports stadium, closed on Tuesday afternoon after its final 49 patients were discharged, making it the last of the temporary hospitals in Wuhan, the centre of the epidemic in China, to close its doors. The hospital, which was converted within two days, received a total of 1,124 patients with mild symptoms of COVID-19 in the 35 days of its operation. No patients died in the hosp


By China Daily
March 11, 2020

Business

Social media curbs removed in Jammu and Kashmir after seven months

 Jammu and Kashmir administration removes restrictions on social media use across Union Territory almost seven months after a communication clampdown since the Centre’s announcement to scrap the special status of the erstwhile state under Article 370 and its bifurcation into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh. The Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) administration on Wednesday removed restrictions from social media usage across the Union Territory almost seven months after a communication clampdown on the eve of the Centre’s August 5 announcement to scrap the special status of the erstwhile state under Article 370 and its bifurcation. The directions came after a review of the situation by the J&K Home department. The order, issued without the


By The Island
March 10, 2020

Business

15 Korean pharmas, 4 state institutes research coronavirus

South Korea’s state-run research institutes and pharmaceutical firms are working hard to find a cure for the new coronavirus. South Korea’s state-run research institutes and pharmaceutical firms are working hard to find a cure for the new coronavirus, according to news reports Monday. Around 15 firms and four institutes here are burning the midnight oil to get an effective cure, according to Korea Pharmaceutical and Bio-Pharma Manufacturers Association. KPBMA Chairman Won Hee-mok emphasized the synergies between private and public research bodies in yielding a faster outcome. The association identified Korean companies working on vaccines — including SK Bioscience, GC Pharma, Boryung Biopharma, Sumagen and G+FLAS Life Sciences. T


By Asia News Network
March 9, 2020

Business

‘Incredible India’ now being viewed as intolerant India, says FM Qureshi

 “Modi’s policies are taking a bloody and dangerous turn,” says the foreign minister. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Thursday stated that ‘Incredible India’ is now being viewed as “intolerant India”, and ‘Shining India’ as “burning India”, adding that the country is now facing international scrutiny like never before. The foreign minister expressed these views while speaking at a seminar, organised by the Centre for Aerospace and Security Studies, in Islamabad. During his address, Qureshi stated: “Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies are taking a bloody and dangerous turn, as predicted by Prime Minister Imran Khan.” Referring to the country


By Asia News Network
March 6, 2020