You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2008.

While many investors ask what will happen to the mainland after the Olympics, we will also ask what Alibaba will focus on after it has announced its interim result last week.

To a certain extent, the remarks made by Alibaba chief executive officer David Wei and the result itself were aimed at easing concerns over where and how the China largest B2B website will be heading to:

Going forward, we expect the robust growth of our China marketplace to continue. The recent launches of a series of new products and services including ‘Winport’, ‘China TrustPass for Individuals’ and ‘Export-to-China’ will further expand our China marketplace and we are encouraged by the positive response these initiatives have received so far

Our China marketplace accounted for 34.0% of total revenue in the reporting period and surpassed 36.1% in the second quarter of 2008, a significant increase when compared to a 27.2% contribution to total revenue in the first half of 2007. This shows the growing importance of the China marketplace to our overall business development.

In line with earlier slogan of “Back to Basic”, Mr Wei is steering his ship back, trying to capitalize on the foreseeable strong growth in China domestic market. (1688) reported earnings results for the second quarter and first half ended June 30, 2008.

It reported total revenue of RMB1,415.2 million in the first half of 2008, representing a 47.8% increase from the first half of 2007. The year-on-year growth was driven mainly by increases in the number of paying members of our combined marketplaces and in average spending per paying member of the China marketplace. (1688) had 368,006 paying members as of June 30, 2008, representing a 44.0% increase from the same period a year ago.


Interim Results 2008


Total Revenue

RMB 1415.2million

Revenue from China marketplace

RMB 481.6 million

Operating Profit

RMB 65.1 million

Net Income

RMB 697.2 million

Earning per share (EPS), basic and diluted

15.24 and 15.23 HK cents



Registered Users


Total no. of registered users on our marketplaces

32.5 million

No. registered users on international marketplace

5.6 million

No. registered users on China marketplace

26.9 million



Store Fronts


Total supplier storefronts on our marketplaces

3.7 million

Supplier storefronts on international marketplace


Supplier storefronts on China marketplace




Paying Members


Total no. of paying member


Gold Supplier


International Trust Pass





You can find a full report of the interim result here


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Hong Kong-based newspaper South China Morning Post posted an video clip on its website, in which Alibaba (1688) group’s Chairman and Non-Executive Director Jack Ma disclosed his future vision.

During the interview, Mr Ma essentially mentioned a few points:

  1.  Alibaba is fully aware of the strong growth in China domestic market and a slowdown of import/export trading
  2. Develop China domestic site and put emphasis on  “Export to China” 
  3. The company save money for “winter”
  4. Alipay will play an important role in faciliating online payment
Alibaba Jack Ma

Alibaba Jack Ma


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Alibaba Buying leads

Alibaba Buying leads

With good intent, Alibaba‘s “latest buying leads” are designed to provide the most updated information to suppliers to fulfil buyers’ sourcing needs.  Using the buying leads, however, pose a challenge to many users.

Briefly looking at the copy  such as, pc case, stationery, looking for plast.., they are so concise that we hardly know what the buyers really need. 

Users have to login to see the details. That’s very fair. Yet, another hurdle comes — users are required to be paid members. To get to this notice, users are supposed to go through three to four clicks. Should the users want to get an upgrade, they have to click again.

Er… I think it’s a bit too much, click after click.  It would be very frustrating to those who are new to .  Alibaba should spend time on streamlining the users’ workflows.

It would be nice if the users can be acknowledged that the service is limited to paid members only when they come across the UI in the first place or they should be notified when they are in the second click.  Once decided to become a paid member, the upgrade information should stay with the membership information as to save another click.

Alibaba TrustPass Membership

Alibaba TrustPass Membership

Another concern is that we are not sure about if the national flag be meaningful to users?  Yes, we are watching Olympic Games now, we know our national flag very well, what about the flags of our neighboring countries? 

At Alibaba, we believe that the company is devoting effort to making things not only useful but also usable. “Usefulness” and “Usability” should come hand in hand, enabling users to get things done fast. To most of the users, time is money.



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Alibaba is riding the wave of logistic-based services with the launch of a service intended to help users find a cost-effective solution to their transportation needs.

The service also allows users to post questions online.  Logistics expert Rik Smith from will offer his professional advice. So far,  a couple of users expressed their concerns on the following three topics

For more information, you can visit Logistics Special

 Jack Ma, Chairman and Non-Executive Director of told the press at the 2nd APEC Meeting in Hangzhou that Alibaba group was ready to buy back  a 39% stake owned by Yahoo Inc.

Mr Ma said the group’s CFO, Joe Tsai, has devoted most of his time to evaluate the current situation, but he declined to confirm the buyback deal and further details.

Yahoo Inc. acquired Alibaba a near 40% stake in 2005 at a cost of US1 billion and her stake in Yahoo China.

The news coverage was found in Sina Tech News section.



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