The Chinese online platform makes it possible from now on also small enterprises from the USA to sell with them. This was announced by the company on Tuesday. With this attempt they want to fend off competition like Amazon.

About one third of the buyers on Alibaba are based in the USA. However, so far US companies have only been able to sell items. This is supposed to change now. With its plan, the Chinese company wants to open its market for US dealers in countries such as India, Brazil, Canada – and of course the USA.

Strengthening global sales power

The offer to US small businesses comes at a time when Alibaba is facing moderate sales growth, which is further threatened by the US and Chinese trade dispute and increasing pressure from competitors such as Pinduoduo Inc.

Alibaba hopes this move will win local US companies as the marketplace of choice and attract small and medium-sized businesses by providing global distribution power. The interest in attracting more manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors and thus becoming more international was emphasized. Still more than 95% of the sellers come from China.

Biggest competitor – Amazon

In June of this year, Alibaba launched its English-language website for its Tmall Global marketplace aimed at traders. They hope to double the number of international brands on the platform to 40,000 over the next three years.

Rival Amazon, which sells its own inventory, also allows third parties to offer products for sale on its website. These vendors can store their products in Amazon warehouses or ship them directly to customers. According to Alibaba, US sellers will pay a membership fee of about $2,000 to activate their online stores on the site. Then there are the marketing and advertising costs. The competitor Amazon, on the other hand, charges third-party providers monthly or per item.

“Alibaba has a very clear approach to markets”

Speaking to Reuters, John Caplan, Head of North America B2B at Alibaba Group, said, “You can be competitive and act like a multinational without the tools or technology it normally takes. The United States is the first market in which the company is focusing on globalizing its offerings. But Alibaba has a very clear approach to other markets.”


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Image: istock