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Alibaba ( HKSE 1688) must be as busy as bees, making sales calls to her clients on the heels of the latest announcement of a new entry-level Gold Supplier program slashing price to new users. The China internet company fleshed out a survival kit for SMEs with two major programs, bringing more sweetener to its paid members amid the global economy slowdown.

Gold Supplier Starter Pack

At the core of these programs was its “Gold Supplier Starter Pack”, the new initiative is targeted for novice users who can acquire the basic service at an annual fee of US$2,900 (RMB19,800). Entry-level services include storefront display and unlimited product listings. Alibaba can provide additional value-added services which include

  • Virtual Showrooms
  • Corporate email accounts
  • Storefront management tools – Traffic Analyzer and Buyer GPS

“With a range of value-added services, customers of our entry-level product realize further benefits by purchasing additional services such as Virtual Showroom and priority ranking based on keywords as they expand their presence on the internet”, Alibaba chief executive officer David Wei 

Alibaba  now offers full services to her existing “Gold Supplier” type paid members at US$5,000 per year.

Quality Supplier Program

In a bid to strengthen its authentication and verification policy, Alibaba also disclosed that she has partnered with VerSign, a trusted provider of Internet Infrastructure services for the network world, to enforce her quality-control strategy. All paid members are expected to get passed the A&V process conducted by an independent third-party agency.

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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.



Photo courtesy of

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,  the task force is dedicated to deploy the group’s resources, initiating relief plan very soon.


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David Wei, Chief Executive Officer of, must be very busy over the past few months, traveling back and forth to seal deals with overseas strategic partners. The latest news came on last Thursday (29th  May) in which Alibaba has signed an agreement with TURKTICARET.Net

The turkish business partner is by far the largest domestic B2B maketplace and also the leading domain name registration and web hosting company of the country.

We’ve seen TURKTICARET.Net , has embedded new search box and browse categories functions from Alibaba. Powered by, the search initiatives would channel Turkish SME business to China exporters and vice versus.

To sum up what deals Alibaba has made known to the public in the last two months:

 Full story of the Alibaba’s partnership with TURKTICARET.Net


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We poked our noses into Alibaba‘s first-time “Gala Event” in Hong Kong yesterday and managed to meet with several gold suppliers face-to-face. The guest speakers on the stage gave a fairly positive comment to Alibaba‘s trading platform.

To summarize their experiences in using Alibaba as a virtual assistant in doing business in their own specific fields, we can come up with several points as below:

  • To come up with a keyword stratgey that can make their products search-able by buyers all over the world
  • To check out competitors’ latest product information and compare their prices against their counterparts on product listings pages 
  • To establish business leads by making use of inquiries  

All speakers unanimously agreed that their offline marketing campaigns such as, erecting a booth in trade shows were no longer the most effective way to do business. The booth was solely a demonstration of their their presence in their own field.   

The event hosted by Alibaba geared towards Hong Kong suppliers vying for the benefits of using the B2B platform.

David Wei at Gala event in Hong Kong


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Proposal for acquiring paid members that accounts for more than 50% of the international trade portal’s annual revenue is key to Alibaba‘s success in this coming year. 

Speaking at a Finance Magazine’s interview, David Wei, Chief Executive Officer of, said the company has set up a call center to promote its paid services to free members. He believed that the number of paid members will increase as a result of the underlying changes in China’s new generation entrepreneurship brought by internet age.  

Mr Wei said the growing number of small and medium companies in China can spend up to RMS20,000 online services each year based on the research they have done.  Alibaba now only charged their members for RMS3,000 using their services per year. Hence they concluded that there’s a potential growth along this line. 

Analyst in the same interview also pointed out that Alibaba‘s paid members only accounts for 1.1% of its 27 million registered users, which still has ample room for improvement.  

The Finance Magazine is hosted by Television Broadcasts Limited, commonly known as TVB in Hong Kong, will highlight a string of China-based yet internationally listed companies in Hong Kong. 

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