Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
China Businesses The Internet

China's Alibaba To Outsell Amazon, eBay Combined 177

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-do-they-have-free-shipping-for-25-bucks dept.
hackingbear writes "China's largest e-commerce firm, Alibaba Group, expects to sell merchandise this year worth more than that sold by Amazon Inc and eBay combined. The company is aiming for 3 trillion yuan ($473 billion) in annual transaction value from its Taobao e-commerce units in the next 5 to 7 years, rising from the 1 trillion yuan of sales expected for 2012. 'From their annual reports we did a rough calculation and we were similar last year but we are growing faster than them this year, so this year we are probably larger than them,' Zeng Ming, Chief Strategy Officer of Alibaba, said of Amazon and eBay."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

China's Alibaba To Outsell Amazon, eBay Combined

Comments Filter:
  • I have the desire! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @11:13PM (#41308925)

    I have so much desire to order from Alibaba, but I can't quite figure out how to verify that I won't be screwed. It seems almost guaranteed.

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      I have so much desire to order from Alibaba, but I can't quite figure out how to verify that I won't be screwed. It seems almost guaranteed.

      Considered them myself. There's some sort of vetting, but I don't know how much I trust *it*.

      • by seven7h (926826) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @11:51PM (#41309159)
        I recently figured this out. There is another site Ali Express [aliexpress.com] which caters to individual buyers. All prices are listed along with delivery costs. It seems to have a nice filter / search function. ,

        Also if you are concerned about the equipment arriving and not working, there is buyer protection, where they will hold your money until you are satisfied withe purchase. I didn't have to use this so it may be difficult to get the refund, all I can say is I was satisfied with the service I got and I would use it again.

        (Note; I am not affiliated in any way with Alibaba or Aliexpress)
        • I had a vendor give me an invalid tracking number and didn't ship the product I bought, but the nice thing is that AliExpress ESCROWS the payment. That means the seller doesn't get paid until I get the product.

          I quickly got a refund (faster than a current eBay case I'm dealing with), and ordered a slightly different product from a different (and more reputable) vendor... I got that product without any issues (2 years ago, 10" Android Tablet with GPS, still use it today).

          I wouldn't have a problem at all usin

      • I (and 5 friends) bought 6 el-cheapo Android tablets a bit over a year ago. It was a bit of a gamble, but it worked out to $150 each... which was a small enough amount that we didn't really mind if anything happened.

        To this day, the tablets work well. They aren't an ipad, or a galaxy tab, or anything particularly nice looking - they have resistive touch screens not capacitive, but they mainly do what we want from them - which is a larger-screen-than-a-phone media player anywhwere, ebook reader, and enter
    • by symbolset (646467) *
      Yeah, as a solo buyer it's pretty much guaranteed. BTW: How does AMZN have a PER of 312? They're awesome but they're not 20x Apple awesome.
      • Because they are going back into .com mode. Remember the late 90s, when Amazon's stock grew as fast as their losses? It was because their revenue was growing, and they were making a loss on every sale.

        Same deal now, but stock buyers expect eventually their profits will grow to match their revenue, much like in the 90s. This is probably true but in my opinion there are other good deals without such a high p/e ratio.
    • by fragMasterFlash (989911) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @11:24PM (#41309001)
      Most of the EBay sellers I buy from anymore ship directly from Asia. I doubt purchasing from Alibaba would be much different, so long as the seller accepted payment from well vetted processors such as Dwolla, Square, AmazonPayments or even those PayPal creeps.
      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Most of the EBay sellers I buy from anymore ship directly from Asia. I doubt purchasing from Alibaba would be much different, so long as the seller accepted payment from well vetted processors such as Dwolla, Square, AmazonPayments or even those PayPal creeps.

        Question is - I don't think Square, Dwolla or Amazon Payments support being a merchant outside the US. Merchant accounts are normally very country specific as they have to apply to banking rules per country. Note that this is for being able to *accept*

        • Question is - I don't think Square, Dwolla or Amazon Payments support being a merchant outside the US.

          I'm German, I buy from Amazon.de and German and international merchants on Amazon Marketplace, paying with Amazon Payments.

          So you where saying?

          • Amazon Payments working on Amazon Marketplace? Who would have thought?

            In other news: Google Checkout works on Google Play.

          • by tlhIngan (30335)

            I'm German, I buy from Amazon.de and German and international merchants on Amazon Marketplace, paying with Amazon Payments.

            So you where saying?

            Ahem, buying is NOT "being a merchant" (which is SELLING).

            Anyone with a merchant account, like I said, can accept any network cards from anywhere. If you have a Visa merchant account, you can accept ANY Visa card aorund the world.

            However, can you accept payment via Amazon Payments? As in, open an Amazon Payment account so people can pay YOU? From Europe, maybe. From

        • AliPay is the largest payment handler in China and most companies use them there. They are making in-roads into Korea and Malaysia as well.

          Guess who operates AliPay.

      • by drkim (1559875)

        Some of the people on eBay are selling Alibaba stuff.

        Some use the same photos and ad copy, but they add on a profit margin and shipping.

      • The difference is feedback. Bad feedback on eBay pushes up expenses, has your listings moved off centre stage, and can really do you over as a seller. EBay sellers, myself included, do a lot to avoid negative feedback. On Alibaba and Aliexpress the feedback system seems to be almost an after thought.
    • by c0lo (1497653)

      I have so much desire to order from Alibaba, but I can't quite figure out how to verify that I won't be screwed. It seems almost guaranteed.

      Try aliexpress.com [aliexpress.com] first.
      I used them about 3-5 times this year, haven't been screwed in any of the occasions. (seems the funds are held in escrow until you get the goods and confirm or until you don't do anything for about 2 months - they assume in 2 months either you got the goods or you'll be triggering an incident with them).

    • I have often bought from Aliexpress, the part of Alibaba that sells small amounts and has prices for all its items and doesn't require you to ask for quotes on every sodding thing. I actually bought so much that I had my account upgraded just at the time I stopped using them. When everything goes right, and it usually does, it is a delight to use. When things go wrong, about one shipment in twenty then one of two things happens, it is either solved immediately and smoothly, or, you enter a Kafkaesque labyri
      • by Compaqt (1758360)

        Where was the lovely lady based? China? Did she speak with an understandable accent, or was it on the level of bad Indian call centers?

    • by Clsid (564627)

      I have ordered stuff from an Indian manufacturer and things went quite well. One thing you should keep in mind is that you can ask most sellers for a sample of the product to verify quality, etc. Then you can make the order you had in mind.

    • by drkim (1559875)

      I've bought stuff through them and their retail site: aliexpress [aliexpress.com]
      It's pretty safe. You can search for $0 shipping options if you like.

      They run the escrow between you and the actually seller. Your money get 'verified' before the order goes in.

      Then the seller ships to you. Once you get the order (and it usually comes way faster than DX) you have to log on to Alibaba and indicate that you got the stuff, so they can release the money. Feedback is important, too.

      One seller tried to push me off Alibaba and get me

    • Yeah... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Balinares (316703) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @07:30AM (#41311237)

      Yeah, like, for every honest guy you get 40 thieves!

    • by shentino (1139071)

      I'm betting that the PRC government is propping them up.

      "China's" is to be taken literally, to be blunt.

      It's easy to win a race when the refs have pistols they can shoot your opponents with whenever they feel like it.

  • In other news... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nemyst (1383049) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @11:18PM (#41308961) Homepage

    In other news, 1.35 billion people (China) is more than 1.13 billion people (Europe and North America combined).

    Should we really be surprised by this? China's simply catching up to the levels first world countries are at, and will most likely exceed them since they don't have the petty squabbles that Europe and the US have. That is, unless China's economy crashes.

    • by mug funky (910186)

      well... the Internet allows people from the USA and Europe to buy from China if they like.

      I suspect a lot of Alibaba's sales come from the same market that Amazon and eBay compete in. welcome to globalization.

    • by guttentag (313541)

      China's simply catching up to the levels first world countries are at, and will most likely exceed them since they don't have the petty squabbles that Europe and the US have.

      Yes, in China the party decides which squabbles are petty and which are not [nytimes.com]. (See inset photo on linked page of thousands of "protesters" in Chengdu carrying banners with slogans like "Even if China is covered with graves, we must kill all Japanese" after some Japanese activists erected a Japanese flag on an island Japan owns but China wants.)

      • by Clsid (564627)

        Not that China wants. It was a Chinese island before the war, then the US controlled the islands and gave them to the Japanese.

        • by jlar (584848)

          Wrong. Japan officially annexed the formerly uninhabitated islands in 1895. Japan furthermore claims that the islands were not under Chinese control prior to that. The Chinese claim that they have been a part of China since at least 1534. This is obviously not a clear cut case.

    • by vettemph (540399)

      Many Ebay sellers and Amazon sellers are just reselling stuff they bought in bulk from Alibaba. This helps explain Alibaba's fortune.

  • by Dyinobal (1427207) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @11:22PM (#41308999)
    What's the big deal about this? I doubt they are eating into amazon or Ebay's customers, all they are doing is expanding into the china and Asian markets where they have very little if any serious competition. I guess amazon could be jealous but I imagine expanding into china would be more hassle than it is worth.
    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @11:41PM (#41309097)

      For some reason, there are people who think the US is DOOMED if China should overtake it in any way shape or form. They have this idea that there is #1, and there is third world shithole, with nothing in-between. So if the US loses its place of primacy, even in some things, then it is fucked.

      I find this very funny going to Canada all the time which I doubt is #1 in anything, except for having the most Canadians. However it is an exceedingly nice country with a good standard of living, and so on. Turns out that there are lots of places that aren't #1 that are great places to live.

      Also I always take anything coming out of China with a HUGE grain of salt since making up numbers and false economic make-work is the routine over there.

      Regardless it doesn't matter. I don't shop at Amazon because they are "#1" I shop at Amazon because they are a good place to shop. Same reason I shop at Target. No, they aren't the #1 physical retailer, that would be Wal-mart in the US at least. I like Target better though. Turns out that not being #1 is working out ok for them.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by slippyblade (962288)

        And here's the clincher. The US isn't #1 in *anything* right now except military spending and wealth concentration.

        • by evilviper (135110) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @12:58AM (#41309491) Journal

          The US isn't #1 in *anything* right now except military spending and wealth concentration.

          The US is #1 among all countries in overall GDP, overall manufacturing, aerospace, information technology, music, movies, TV, video games, automotive last I checked (GM, Ford, Chrysler combined), most heavy machinery (eg. CATerpillar) and many, many others.

          • by AK Marc (707885)
            What's a Chrysler? And how big are Toyota, Honda, Suzuki, Fuji Heavy Industries, and Nissan (and any others I'm forgetting) compared to the US makers?
            • Honda might be a Japanese company, but it builds so many cars in the US, it's a de-facto American automaker. Believe it or not, Honda sells cars in Japan that were manufactured in the US. It's partly a political publicity stunt that enables them to get tax benefits from the US and offset penalties they might otherwise have to pay, but it doesn't change the fact that there are Honda vehicles on the streets of Tokyo that were made in Ohio.

              • by AK Marc (707885)
                By that definition, GM isn't American, as we have Canadian and Mexican made cars in the USA, and a few Fords were imported from Australia.

                Best we can do at this time is call them what they call themselves.
          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            VW group is the world's largest automaker. China is about ready to surpass all other nations in automotive production if it doesn't go tits up first. I think Neal Stephenson is a prophet. Music, movies, and microcode.

            • by evilviper (135110)

              All the experts will tell you that China's economy is due for a crash, any time now. We just don't know when. They'll also tell you that increasing wages and energy costs have led to some manufactures moving their US production from China to Mexico. Additionally, even Chinese firms are moving manufacturing to lower-cost countries, like Brazil, Vietnam, etc.

              In addition, it's widely believed (but I admit, not a sure thing) that manufacturing will move back to the US in a big way, as soon as advanced robots

        • You forgot per capita incarceration rate.

      • by TeknoHog (164938)
        I'd rather be #1 in quality than quantity.
      • by Tom (822)

        For some reason, there are people who think the US is DOOMED if China should overtake it in any way shape or form. They have this idea that there is #1, and there is third world shithole, with nothing in-between. So if the US loses its place of primacy, even in some things, then it is fucked.

        And they are not entirely mistaken.

        The USA is sucking in goods and brains from all over the world, and what is left of its economy is largely the result of that #1 attitude. Imagine if there were a european Hollywood, and asian Silicon Valley and a south-american New York City.

        There is a real danger of a domino effect once the US is no longer perceived as the #1 country, the "place to be".

    • by kenneth_hk_wong (442341) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @12:21AM (#41309319)

      Actually, Amazon is in China: www.amazon.com.cn Never use it though.

      I moved to Beijing from Los Angeles, a little over a year ago. I thought that my online ordering days were over -- loved that I could order things from Yugster, or Newegg, or TigerDirect and receive within a couple of days, but I was so wrong. Yes, Taobao is great, and they have an authentication system (with security tokens) for both buyers and sellers that is pretty serious. Way more complicated than US online transactions. Many foreigners haven't figured it out, but my non-Chinese speaking wife has. She could start a business ordering for "laowei". Never mind taobao, there's also 360buy.com. I order before 10am and it arrives same day at my office if they have it in stock. Their website tells you accurately whether they do have the item in stock.

      Prices are sometimes seriously good. Retail margins are very high in the B&M world compared to the West. What has impressed me is that so many people have jumped on the online train. There are chinese people that order EVERYTHING online, groceries, toilet paper, EVERYTHING. Shipping is normally $1-2USD. Ridiculously low. There may be many parts of China that look like they are developing, but with respect to online, they are ahead of us. I'm still shocked sometimes.

    • by evilviper (135110)

      I doubt they are eating into amazon or Ebay's customers, all they are doing is expanding into the china and Asian markets where they have very little if any serious competition

      No, they aren't REMOTELY similar to Amazon or EBay. It's a site for Business-to-business (B2B) sales of bulk item shipments. Sure, you'll find Android tablets on there, but there will be a 1,000 unit minimum order, and they'll already have factored in the cost to SHIP TO THE USA. Anyone who has spent 5 minutes on the site should kn

      • by AK Marc (707885)
        www.aliexpress.com works for me ordering one at a time, and some things, like light bulbs, I order on the B2B site in packs of 10 or 20. But then, I also use http://www.dinodirect.com/ [dinodirect.com] for more consumer-oriented China direct ordering.
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        No, they aren't REMOTELY similar to Amazon or EBay

        I imagined they were counting AliExpress in the numbers, which is much like Amazon or eBay.

        If, say, Ars Technica and Popular Science used slashcode or some other moderated system, with comments featured promiently, I would stop comming here in a second...

        Or, if they used something good.

      • Except that TaoBao is exactly like Amazon but bigger. Who's on TaoBao? Let's see. Coach, Gucci, Dell, Sony, Mattel, LG, etc etc. All the worlds brands are selling there plus hundreds of thousands of smaller sellers, each with their own storefront, inventory feeds - all selling through AliPay the payment handler and largest eWallet broker in China.

    • by Tom (822)

      What's the big deal about this?

      The big deal is that there are future competitors in China that most of us don't even have on our radar. We all wonder if Apple will kill Nokia in the mobile market, or if Sun will survive.

      Meanwhile, Huawei makes almost as much yearly profit as Cisco has in revenue.

      • by AK Marc (707885)
        Huawei was a surprise to Americans, and nobody else. Huawei built the largest mobile network in the world. It just was a small mobile carrier in one country, so nobody in the US paid attention to China Mobile. The only reason China companies aren't on our radar is that our radar is broken. Americans can't dispassionately review a Chinese company.
    • by AK Marc (707885)
      When ebay stopped being a second hand auction site and started being a portal for people pushing cheap chinese imports, I moved to Alibaba to save money and cut out the middle man. It was the same thing anyway, but without the bidding games, and I don't have to use PayPal anymore.

      So yeah, some sales are lost from the others. If not much, then at least me.
    • by Sqr(twg) (2126054)

      Actually, a lot of what is currently being sold on ebay was first sold (in bulk) on Alibaba to a reseller. I figure it's just a matter of time before people start cutting out the middle man.

  • by slashmydots (2189826) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @11:30PM (#41309039)
    Last time I was on Alibaba, I saw listing after listing for tons (literally the measuring unit) of scrap metal and recyclable or post-recycled stuff. So yeah, a $100,000 bucket of scrap aluminum doesn't show up on Amazon a whole lot. This is about as apples to apples as comparing Brian Williams to a crunch wrap supreme taco.
    Fun fact, the largest gross sales in the US online are, in order:
    1. Amazon
    2. Newegg
    3. eBay
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      You aren't looking in the right place. Alibaba is merely the parent company. They own taobao.com who owns tmall.com The latter two are the two main places to go for cheap EVERYTHING and a lot of consumers in China know this too.

    • http://www.taobao.com/ [taobao.com]

      Go there. That's owned and operated by AliBaba. It's Amazon on steroids.

  • Its where you buy things in bulk for a business. Doesnt make sense comparing it to consumer retail sites at all. And how surprising should this be? China as a huge supplier - hardly news.
    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      They mention the B2C site in the brief article, I would hope they are only counting it when doing the comparison. Since I'm pretty sure neither amazon or ebay sells anything like rice [alibaba.com] with a 1000 ton minimum order, crude oil [alibaba.com] with a 2 million barrel minimum order, or iron ore [alibaba.com] with a 150000 ton minimum.

        • by nedlohs (1335013)

          Which clearly overlaps with amazon/ebay and hence is irrelevant. That ebay sells houses and land would be relevant since that would push up the "total transaction value" with a small number of transactions and is something alibaba likely doesn't do.

          • by AK Marc (707885)

            Which clearly overlaps with amazon/ebay and hence is irrelevant.

            You bring up a number of B2B things, like that's all they do. I posted a counter with one of the large number of B2C products. Not to mention that the article doesn't just "mention" B2C, it talks *exclusively* about Taobao (B2C), not alibaba.com (B2B). You sound like an argument waiting to find something to complain about.

            That ebay sells houses and land would be relevant since that would push up the "total transaction value" with a small number of transactions and is something alibaba likely doesn't do.

            And Taobao doesn't sell rice, oil, or iron ore. Which is also relevant. And does Amazon count the C2C sales, or just B2C, as Amazon Marketplace is a C2C service. Seems that Amazon co

  • by Grayhand (2610049) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @12:17AM (#41309295)
    Alibaba is an industrial supplier. It's like saying Tyson sells more chicken than Kentucky Fried Chicken. Why is this a story?
  • I've ordered a LOT of stuff from Amazon, and never got screwed. eBay, I never got the product once (was from Asia, but was lied to about it being in New Jersey). That was $75 down the drain, and eBay and PayPal didn't to crap to recover it.

    I've also ordered once from Alibaba (actually, I think I used Aliexpress, the "consumer" version), and things turned out well. I've moved on to other tablets since, but my mom likes the old one I got direct from shenzen...

    Otherwise, I recently had to buy a new logic
  • Or Aliexpress to be exact... and pretty much clicked the first thing that made me say WTF. Okay that's a lie, it was one of the three things on the first screen that made me go WTF. Here you go:

    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Emperorship-necomimi-cat-ears-cat/622965849.html [aliexpress.com]

    To quote the link that brought me to that page: "Don't bother with traditional methods of finding a partner. Pop a pair of Brain Wave Cat Ears on the head of the one you love, and if they twitch... they like you!"

    I'm pretty sure they'd twi

    • I'm pretty sure they'd twitch all right... and I'm not talking about the ears. Twitch and run away.

      That's what the tentacles are for. What are you, a virgin? Or some kind of uneducated gaijin?

      • by Havenwar (867124)

        No, I just don't get how it's better than my traditional methods of slipping her a roofie and letting her wake up in the dungeon I dug out under my garage where she'll be spending the rest of her unnatural life.

        • by drkim (1559875)

          No, I just don't get how it's better than my traditional methods of slipping her a roofie and letting her wake up in the dungeon I dug out under my garage where she'll be spending the rest of her unnatural life.

          Mr. Romney.....? Is that you?

    • by drkim (1559875)

      No, the Brainwave Cat Ears let you control the movement of the ears (the ear motors) by thinking a certain way.

      This could be useful if cats take over the planet.

  • by rossdee (243626) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @02:49AM (#41309983)

    When I hear the name AliBaba my first thought is "40 Thieves"

    Not exactly inspiring confidence in the business.

    I guess it means something else in Chinese.

  • Amazon.com doesn't ship 99.999% of the items (and amazon.de and amazon.co.uk don't ship 70% of the items) to Finland, a bona fide EU member. I imagine Amazon gives even less of a shit about some Asian country.

    (the undercurrent message of my post is: fuck Amazon, basically)

  • How many people would condemn the PRC for being IP thieves, while at the same time ranting and raving against the MAFIAA for hoarding its own IP?

    Are pirates worse because they happen to be chinese?

  • by sudden.zero (981475) <sudden.zero@nospaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @11:40AM (#41313565)
    ...they will probably meet this goal is, because they sell knock-off junk where Amazon and eBay for the most part sell authentic goods. For example look at this knock off Samsung Note II http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/631593035/5inch_android_4_0_mtk6575_wifi.html [alibaba.com] that they are selling for roughly a third the price as the real thing. If you look at the box it comes in at the bottom of the ad it even says Note II inside a mock Samsung logo.

What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind. -- Thomas Hewitt Key, 1799-1875

Working...