Date
24 September 2017
Bryan Fu, general manager of Alibaba Group for Taiwan and Hong Kong markets, said many local enterprises regard electronic platforms as an additional sales channel rather than a key area for development. Photo: HKEJ
Bryan Fu, general manager of Alibaba Group for Taiwan and Hong Kong markets, said many local enterprises regard electronic platforms as an additional sales channel rather than a key area for development. Photo: HKEJ

Hong Kong SMEs urged to develop B2B platforms

Hong Kong’s small and medium-sized enterprises have achieved much success in closing deals with buyers through trade and commerce expositions.

But this success has also hindered the development of the city’s business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce, according to Bryan Fu, general manager of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Taiwan and Hong Kong branches.

The ability of local SMEs to secure orders through electronic means has not improved over the past eight years, Fu told the Hong Kong Economic Journal.

For many Hong Kong enterprises, electronic platforms have remained an additional sales channel rather than a key area for development.

As a result, local manufacturers have found it hard to connect with buyers from emerging markets which are keen to look for business partners, not simply buy products, Fu said.

Lack of technology resources and knowledge of cost control is another issue that has undermined e-commerce development in the city, he said.

Alibaba organized two training seminars for Hong Kong SMEs last year, with a view to helping them expand their markets and nurture future partners.

The group’s B2B platform 1688.com has about 100 million registered users in mainland China and 130,000 in Taiwan. It did not disclose the figure for Hong Kong users.

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VW/JP/CG

Freelance journalist

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