Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Report On China's B2B, B2C and C2C Giant Alibaba (Taobao)

From CHINAdaily: Open sesame to the Net highway

"Alibaba International was launched in 1999, and in this short span (through its website Alibaba.com) has already drawn 1.2 million registered users across some 200 countries; and 1.8 million businesses to its dedicated China site. And Forbes magazine's four-years-in-a-row "Best of the Web: B2B" honour is the feather in its crown."

"We don't have an online competitor (either) in China or in the world," Ma (Alibaba.com's founder, chairman and ceo) says. "Globally, our competitors are the traditional trade magazines such as Global Sources. They are very good. But in China there is nobody. We have 99 per cent of the users." The value of transactions through all its sites in 2004 was more than US$4 billion. ... An official fact sheet ... says US GAAP revenue for 2004 was US$46 million."

"The firm's phenomenal growth saw it expanding into three dedicated B2B portals, before turning its attention to the C2C market in 2003 with the launch of taobao, an online auction website. Taobao competes directly with US online auction giant eBay's dedicated China site, EachNet, for China's more than 90 million Internet users. ... So far, eBay is still ahead in China, but perhaps not for long. EachNet, with 10 million registered users, traded US$360 million worth of goods in 2003, compared to taobao's 4.3 million customers and US$300-million transaction for a US$46-million revenue. But the Shanghai-based EachNet controlled 60-70 per cent of China's online auction market when it was taken over completely by the US company in September 2004." Read more


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