Site icon News-EN

Alibaba’s B2B e-commerce platform expects 20% growth by 2024, ignoring increasing competition

55a9514e979f701670651a20315e7c7a, a cross-border business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce platform owned by Alibaba Group Holdingpredicts $60 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) by 2024, which would be a 20 percent increase from last year’s $50 billion, said the platform’s president, Zhang Kuo.

The sourcing platform’s revenue growth slowed after a sevenfold increase in GMV over the past five years, Zhang told the South China Morning Post in an interview in Hong Kong on Thursday.

“It’s quite difficult to double the GMV every year because of an ever-increasing base,” he said. “The core issue is about the business model, because we need to achieve new breakthroughs and transformations.”

Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP knowledgeour new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyzes and infographics, brought to you by our award-winning team. President Zhang Kuo attends the Greenwich Economic Forum in Central on June 6, 2024. Photo: Edmond So President Zhang Kuo attends the Greenwich Economic Forum in Central on June 6, 2024. Photo: Edmond So > started in 1999 as an online yellow book to help foreign bulk buyers find Chinese manufacturers. It now functions largely as a transaction platform that connects Chinese suppliers directly with foreign companies. is part of Alibaba International Digital Commerce Group, one of the growth engines of Alibaba Group, owner of South China Morning Post.

Chinese traders on the platform saw the combined value of their exports reach $350 billion last year, or about 10 percent of the value of all Chinese exports, which rose 7 percent to $3.6 trillion in 2023. has more than 200,000 suppliers, 90 percent of which are located in China. Half of the products offered on the platform are not for consumer use, according to Zhang. These include machine tools, building materials, laser cutting devices and even small food trucks.

“Non-consumer goods sales are growing faster than consumer goods,” he said.

While Chinese-backed shopping apps like Alibaba-owned Temu compete PDD companiesthat are quickly winning over foreign consumers, is betting on the growing demand from small businesses to make online purchases.

“Actually, there is no major direct competition with Temu or TikTok,” said Zhang, referring to the ByteDansthe company-owned short video platform’s recent move into e-commerce. “They affect many of the traditional small retailers in overseas markets… but we believe in the importance of local ecosystems.”

Alibaba also has a number of consumer-facing apps, including Lazada and AliExpress.

On Thursday, announced the launch of Alibaba Guaranteed, a service designed to make B2B sourcing as easy as shopping on sites like The service offers products at fixed prices, including shipping costs and guaranteed delivery times.

For sellers, the service is similar to a model known as “half-custody,” where suppliers outsource shipping, delivery, payment and customer service to the platform. Zhang said lowering the barrier to foreign trade encourages Chinese traders to approach foreign buyers directly, as these companies are usually unable to handle complex cross-border trade procedures on their own.

In Yiwu, a city in eastern Zhejiang province known for its small manufacturers, the number of customers has increased 70 percent in the past two quarters. has also been rolled out artificial intelligence (AI) tools such as an on-site chatbot to help exporters.

Last October, it introduced an AI tool that allows users to list goods online and manage customer correspondence. According to Zhang, the tool’s annual recurring revenue is $100 million.

In July, the platform will launch an AI tool to help buyers find the right products.

“As long as you have an idea, an intention or a picture, we can help you find the right sellers to make the right products,” Zhang said.

This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Mail (SCMP), the most authoritative voice covering China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please visit the SCMP App or visit the SCMPs Facebook And Tweet Pages. Copyright © 2024 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

Copyright (c) 2024. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

Exit mobile version