Alibaba opening platform to US small businesses

July 24, 2019 09:30
Alibaba aims to become the marketplace platform of choice for small- and medium-sized US businesses that seek to sell globally. Photo: Reuters

China's Alibaba Group will allow small US businesses to sell on the firm's online platform as it seeks to tap into the business-to-business e-commerce market, Reuters reports.

The change will open up markets to US merchants in countries served by Alibaba, including India, Brazil and Canada.

US merchants, previously able to only buy on, can now also sell to other US-based businesses on the marketplace, the report said.

Alibaba, which does not sell inventory of its own, hopes to attract local US businesses as their marketplace platform of choice by offering small- and medium-sized businesses global selling power.

US sellers have to pay a membership fee of roughly US$2,000 to get their online stores on, plus any marketing and advertising costs, the Chinese firm was quoted as saying.

“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,” John Caplan, head of North America B2B at Alibaba Group, told Reuters.

The United States is the first market where Alibaba is focusing on globalizing supply, Caplan said.

Last month, Alibabay launched an English-language website for its Tmall Global marketplace aimed at merchants, in an attempt to double the number of international brands on the platform to 40,000 in the next three years.

The business-to-business e-commerce market (B2B) is valued at US$23.9 trillion, according to the US International Trade Commission.

The business-to-consumer e-commerce market is valued at US$3.8 trillion.

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