You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2008.

Heart-breaking news of tainted milks and tainted Lehman Bothers’ minibonds has already caused enough damage in 2008. Our health is in jeopardy and our life-long savings got evaporated in a few seconds. We start to question if there’s any check-and-balance system that can protect us from being exploited by unscrupulous businessmen.

Early September, we put up a post – “Alibaba axes black sheeps” to warn our users of being cautious in dealing with a batch of unreliable suppliers. In the last few days, Alibaba takes another step to extend its surveillance service by launching a “Blacklist Companies” campaign online.  

 

In response to intellectual property infringement and fraudulent conduct complaints submitted in accordance with our take-down policy, we take down thousands of product listings each year. In addition, we blacklist suppliers that continue to be subject to substantiated take-down notices and fail to live up to the expectations of our member community. We remove all listings of blacklisted companies, terminate their memberships and ban them from our marketplace permanently.

 

Alibaba's Blacklist

Alibaba's Blacklist

 

We believe it’s a good move and it ties to what we have discussed in “Alibaba flowing with tide” post.

 

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    China will raise tax rebates for 3,486 items from labor intensive industries such as textile, garment, toy, hi-tech and high added value sectors to help its weakening exporting enterprises. By increasing the tax rebates, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) hopes that it  will ease operation pressure for export industry and enhance their competitiveness.

    The export tax rebate for some toys, textiles and garments will be raised to 14 percent. There will be a nine percent rebate for certain plastic products, 11 percent for daily necessities and porcelain artifacts, 11 and 13 percent for some furniture,  according to China.org.cn.

    Some economists say exports may continue to shrink in the rest of the year, with the most pessimistic forecast being negative growth in 2009 as a result of economic downturn caused by the global credit crisis. China’s GDP growth declined to 9 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, the slowest pace over the past five years.

    China Exporters

    China Exporters

    Photo courtesy of www.frj-trans.com/En/

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    China’s key inflation barometers – CPI and PPI continue to show signs of slowdown in September, enabling the central government to exert more control over economic policy, stimulate domestic demand and loose price control on resources materials.

    The latest figures provides a favorable environment for Chinese Premier Wen ‘s resolution to deploy his economic policies for the fourth quarter.

    Chinese-Premier-Wen-Jiabao

    Chinese-Premier-Wen-Jiabao

    Photo courtesy of http://www.chinadaily.com.cn

    Premier Wen policy boost

    Premier Wen Jiabao, while addressing at the State Council last week, outlined his top 10 assignments which include: 

    • Develop Small and medium enterprise sector – encourage financial institutions to lend to SME and expand direct financing channels to them
    • Maintain stable trade growth
    • Strengthen domestic investment
    • Step up energy-saving measures
    • Increase fiscal revenue

    Mr Wen also said China would increase tax rebates on textiles, labor-intensive products and high value-added machinery and electronics destined for overseas.

    Dwindling CPI and PPI figures in September

    According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), China’s Consumer Price Index (CPI)softened to 4.6% in September, which was 4.9% in August, 6.3% in July and 7.1% in June. Food prices, which account for more than a third of the CPI calculation, rose 17.3 percent during the January to September period.

    The Producer Price Index (PPI) rose 8.3 percent in the first nine months. In September alone, the PPI surged to 9.1% over the same month last year, yet is lower than 10.1% in August.

    China Exporters, the mainstay of China’s economic growth, have also been hit, with growth in the nine months to September down 4.8 % from the same period last year. Suppliers are diverting their energy to open up business lines in China domestic market.

    Alibaba forms a task force

    In the middle of financial crisis, SMEs are already feeling the chill. Aliuser reckoned that Alibaba announced a task force last week to come for rescue. Led by David Wei, chief executive of Alibaba.com,  the task force is dedicated to deploy the group’s resources, initiating relief plan very soon.

     

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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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    Last week, Alibaba group’s on-line auction unit, Taobao.com, delivered two major messages to her users:

    • Taobao will continue to provide free services to her users 
    • Alibaba group plans to inject RMB 5 billions in Taobao over the next five years  in order to build its business

    Jonathan Lu, president of Taobao, stated in an issued press release, “The CNY5 billion investment into the Taobao ecosystem demonstrates our long-term confidence in the Chinese economy, our optimism for China’s domestic consumption and our commitment towards creating job opportunities for entrepreneurs who harness the power of the Taobao marketplace.”

    In face of challenge from Baidu and Tencent, Taobao has been stepping up its effort to  improve its B2C services by releasing http://i.mall.taobao.com, a stripped-down site optimized for Apple ipod users to browse and search products

    It’s widely believed that Baidu‘s latest attempt to give a big push to her new C2C e-commerce platform, Youa.com will be taken as a threat. Renowned China search engine Baidu also beta tests BaiFuBao as her payment gateway. At this moment, Aliuser still cannot find any details on how this BaiFuBao will be functioned, what is the payment flow, fee structure and the cap on financed amounts.

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