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Alibaba.com (HKSE 1688)has invitation sent to its users to take part in a talk at the World SME Expo, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre.

The event will be taken place from 10-12 December, 2008, presenting a possible solution to small-and-medium size companies (SMEs) in the event of weakening economy following the financial tsunami.

Echoed to the event was today’s news cover story of  HK$4 billion funding to support local SMEs through HSBC Holdings (HKSE 0005).  

The Hong Kong largest bank announced its rescue plan of  US $5 billion global fund to increase capital liquidity to SMEs  around the world.  

The loans made in Hong Kong under the global fund are meant to apply to working capital and equipment financing needs. Loans will be allocated on a case- by-case basis, using HSBC’s normal lending criteria. Interest will vary, with high rates charged to risky businesses lacking government loan guarantees, according to HSBC global co-head of commercial banking Margaret Leung Ko May-yee.

Users who are interested in more details about the new Gold Suppliers package can visit Alibaba.com booth. Make an advanced appointment on: 852-22155128.

  • Alibaba.com at the World SME Expo
    Hall 1, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre
    Booth No. 1H02, 1H04
    10-12 December 2008
    (Free Admission)

 

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Of the six trends outlined in the last edition of B2B Online Media Report, Alibaba may reckon a couple of them are applicable to her future development as part of strategy to enhance its premium position in B2B marketplace.

The report, compiled by Business Strategies Group Ltd,  held Alibaba and Global Sources as the most sophisticated on-line sourcing platforms. There are two new entrants to the top 10, Indiamart and TradeIndia.

Emphasis on deeper supplier data and verification services is something that Alibaba may consider exploring further. Alibaba has a safe trading center and forum to discuss the issues about fraudulent, scams and scrupulous suppliers. Yet the content block seems to be played down, there’s still room for improvment in presentating the message . Aliuser has introduced a few authenication and verification inspection services in Alibaba, which can be highlight in the site, we believed. 

Emergence of vertical sourcing websites may provide Alibaba an opportunity to spread her wings in major vertical, industry-specific sourcing websites. The logic comes from the thought that the more valuable content Alibaba has, the more powerful it will be from Search Engine Optimization perspective. It also offers industry research, supplier credit reports and export guides and verification services to her users. Those are the things are users are looking for in doing business.   

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Please send your donations for Sichuan Earthquake Disaster direct to the Red Cross Society
or see more details in our previous post.

SuperDeals with China Buyer Directory

Open to all suppliers or exporters who engage in promoting their products in online trading platform, Alibaba International site kicked off a new round of SuperDeals Program to help buyers find what they want from the B2B site while in the meantime, provide a free service to suppliers.

So in the next coming program, it will feature 4 categories:

  • Minerals, Metals & Materials
  • Chemicals
  • Rubber & Plastics
  • Energy

What exactly is the SuperDeals promotion and how can users take advantage of it to improve the findability of their products?  It’s three-step approach is visually illustrated in its marketing page as below.

three steps approach

Users can now apply for the free promotion service from June 11-17th, 2008. As soon as the applications are processed, their products will then be promoted in the internet trading platfrom starting from 19-25th June, 2008. Additionally, users will get a chance to win a China Buyer Directory.

The only criticism we have to its marketing page is its copy. we find typo and inconsistent labels.  

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Alibaba passes the torch to its counterpart      Alibaba.com passed her torch to her India counterpart as part of its global expansion plan. The international B2B marketplace struck a deal with  Informedia India Limited yesterday to form a multi-year partnership after 6-month on-and-off discussion.

The partnership will bring mutual benefit to both parties.Alibaba.com is expected to take 600,000 offline memberleads online and turn them to be paid members. While Informedia India Limited  can take advantage of Alibaba’s strong online capability to build up online presence in India.

Alibaba.com made her first move by setting up an India channel  late last year. The Open Sesame event in India was hosted on 14 December with 300,000 registered users. In her press release issued yesterday, Alibaba.com now has 400,000 members in India.

India has more than 8 million SMEs, which account for almost 40 per cent of India’s industrial output and employ around 30 million people. It is estimated that 3 million SMEs are engaged in B2B trade and around 1 million are in the export business. 

For full story, visit  Alibaba.com and Infomedia Form Strategic Partnership in India

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Chinese exporters may feel the pinch by experiencing a sluggish trading atmosphere in the 103rd Canton Fair Yet, it may also be the right moment for them to rethink of their online marketing strategy. 

Tough year for exporters at 103rd Canton Fair!

From what we’ve seen in the last session of Canton Fair, we found not as many buyers from the U.S. and the European countries as it used to be. Instead we’ve seen Indians, Pakistans and some other South Americans seeking for bargains.

The show has so far secured 128,155 foreign buyers in attendance,  a 5.8 percent decrease than the last spring fair. The number of US importers slipped 23.3 percent and those France, Germany fell 11.8 and 9.5 percent, respectively. 

Time to map out a new online marketing strategy

B2B partner

Some sophisiticated suppliers admitted that they should look for additional channels to promote their products other than using offline promotion in trade shows. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a collection of B2B marketplaces springing up in the China territory, which help removing hurdles in global trade by taking advantage of online community and trading platforms.

To use an analogy, the situation the Chinese exporters are now facing is like a glass filled with half water. You can tell it’s half empty permissively  or you can be positive enough to say there’s still another half need to be refilled. It’s a matter of how you think.

Stronger yuan and weaker world market soften the export growth 

Besiegned with the rising yuan and unfolding credit crisis in the U.S., it’s widely expected that there’s a slowdown of purchasing orders and buyers’ turn-out rate in the trade fair.

China’s exports to the United States rose just 5.4 percent in the first quarter over the same period last year.

Exports to the European Union, which overtook the United States last year as China’s biggest trading partner, rose 24.2 percent in the first quarter, while shipments to Vietnam, Brazil and Russia leaped by 89.5 percent, 77.6 percent and 51.6 percent, respectively.

“External demand from Western countries, including the United States, Britain and Europe, is very sluggish, which does not support such a fast rise in export growth,” said Zhao Qingming, an economist at China Construction Bank in Beijing.

Early in April, the World Bank cut its 2008 forecast for China by 0.2 percentage points to 9.4 percent — its second reduction in as many months. The Asian Development Bank also lowered its 2008 forecast for China’s economic growth to 10 percent from 10.8 percent.

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