Alibaba.com is the oldest platform operated by the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, which has historically been averse to sellers from the US. This move will help in strengthening the company’s position in America better.
A will to compete with Amazon
Alibaba wants to expand its global footprint by allowing US sellers on its platform. Its target may be an equally large company- Amazon, that pursues global expansion and diversification aggressively. Jack Ma’s firm has always been a China-focused company, even though it has a presence in over 190 countries and has 10 million active business buyers.
On Tuesday, the company announced that it is welcoming Americans on its B2B platform while suggesting that Robinson Fresh, US-based produce firm has joined the platform. The company already has a strategic partnership with Office Depot, an office supply firm. This collaboration was announced in March this year.
John Caplan, the head of North American B2B at Alibaba Group said,
“You get to compete and act like a multinational company in a way you’ve never had the tools or technology to be able to do so.”
Note that the company only allowed American businesses to buy from other sellers but did not allow them to bring their products to their platform. The new tools announced by the company will include an online payments system and open a world of opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses in the country.
Strategic move at a tough time?
The US and China are not engaged in a trade war as of yet, but tensions between the nations are quite evident. American President Donald Trump has even talked about imposing 25% tariff on Chinese exports because of which several companies are packing their bags from the mainland. This includes gaming console makers as well, who get a majority of their products made in the mainland. Taiwan is gaining from this conflict.
More specifically, Alibaba had plans to go big in the States. About two years, its founder Jack Ma, met Trump and discussed his plans to expand into the country and help strengthen the relationship between the two largest economies of the world.
The e-commerce giant noted that opening up their online marketplace will help the small and medium-sized businesses in the US and help in creating about a million jobs. However, things have changed since then, and the economic impact of tensions between the two nations is now being felt around the world. The company’s plans were officially stalled in September last year.