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Chinese E-Commerce Giant To Enter US Market 32

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-will-there-be-free-shipping dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Alibaba Group Holding, a Chinese company, filed for an initial public offering (IPO) on Tuesday to the tune of $1 billion dollars. Alibaba is an e-commerce company whose success has ensured that more than half of all parcel deliveries in China, the world's largest internet market, are directly attributed to Alibaba customers. Critics, citing cultural differences (i.e., consumer branding and shopping preferences) as well as entrenched U.S. competition, say that the company may not be as successful in the U.S. Businesses such as Amazon, eBay, and PayPal already provide the type of services that the Alibaba Group offers. On the other hand, U.S. consumers and business owners may welcome the prospect of having one more company vying for their patronage. More competition, after all, means more incentive to keep prices low enough to attract and retain more end-users."
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Chinese E-Commerce Giant To Enter US Market

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  • Wha? (Score:5, Informative)

    by kamapuaa (555446) on Wednesday May 07, 2014 @03:47AM (#46937229) Homepage

    The summary seems to think that Alibaba filing for an IPO in the US means that it must be opening operations in the US...actually it just filed in IPO in the US because it's a very large company and China's stock markets are sort of a joke, not really set up for a company of Alibaba's size...

    You're already easily able to use alibaba.com in the US. It's kind of cool especially if you want to open your own stall at a flea market. I used taobao.com in China, it's like eBay with better consumer protection. Competing with eBay would take a massive marketing push to build up an entirely new business, basically. What makes taobao.com interesting is all the smaller specialty shops, there's a million logistical reasons why them selling directly from these Chinese shops to US customers would be a total nightmare, the language barrier being the most obvious.

    • Re:Wha? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Wednesday May 07, 2014 @04:02AM (#46937275)

      The summary seems to think that Alibaba filing for an IPO in the US means that it must be opening operations in the US...actually it just filed in IPO in the US because it's a very large company and China's stock markets are sort of a joke, not really set up for a company of Alibaba's size...

      You're already easily able to use alibaba.com in the US. It's kind of cool especially if you want to open your own stall at a flea market. I used taobao.com in China, it's like eBay with better consumer protection. Competing with eBay would take a massive marketing push to build up an entirely new business, basically. What makes taobao.com interesting is all the smaller specialty shops, there's a million logistical reasons why them selling directly from these Chinese shops to US customers would be a total nightmare, the language barrier being the most obvious.

      A Joke? Hong Kong is the second largest stock exchange in Asia in terms of market capitalization. It is outdone only by the Tokyo Stock Exchange. It is the sixth largest in the world behind Euronext. And, yes, Hong Kong is also part of the PRC. According to the WSJ the reason Alibaba went to the US is that Hong Kong has a strict one man one vote system whereas in the US: "one set of shareholders—usually including the company's founder—has more rights than another" which would allow the founder to nominate to nominate the majority of the board. Apparently he would not be able to do that in a "one man, one vote" environment.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Size has no relevance to the reliability and transparency of a market. Chinese markets excluding Hong Kong are 1) nigh inaccessible to the west and 2) crap shoots due to lack of transparency. From what I've actually seen with my own eyes, a very large percentage of Chinese companies keep two books. One for the regulators and one for themselves.

        Hong Kong is definitely better in that sense.

        However... Chinese (mainland) markets, yes, are a joke.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      When I ran a B2B+Dropshipping site with many Chinese suppliers I never found language a problem. My contacts all emailed me in English of a good standard. Maybe that was simply because we were dealing with heavy industry equipment manufacture, and they would tend to have people in-house with international language skills.

      Nevertheless, Alibaba could develop in-house or partner for integrated international customer support. I don't see language being a problem if its slotted in correctly. Smart people cou

  • Read the filing? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 07, 2014 @04:54AM (#46937381)

    $1bn is a placeholder sum in order to calculate values and fees. No actual target fundraising sum has been announced yet. The only things we really know right now are the amount of the placeholder, the names of the banks involved, and the structure by which the board will be determined.

    The venue hasn't even been announced yet.

  • But you often don't want to, because you have to wade through so much shit. And then when my aliexpress order finally showed up, it was not as described. The item literally had the opposite curvature that it was supposed to (just some automotive lighting crap) and I learned my lesson cheaply. The advantage of going to someplace like eBay is that more of the crap has been filtered out by people who received it and said "Fuck, I can't even sell this."

    • NO! You can order items through Alibaba (not from) and pay through Alibaba. But you can't get what you ordered, something broken or of lower spec will usually be sent. Alibaba, who represents themselves as holding payment in escrow and settling disputes with the sellers because without that the sellers are too dishonest, will always side in any dispute with the seller, even if (as happened to me) the sellers make no counterargument against your dispute. You can't actually expect to buy what is advertised fr

      • I've had enough bad luck with so-called 'valid' chinese ebay sellers. 98% of bottom feeders who buy from taobao and just resell. they know nothing (or care nothing) about what they sell. in the US, we call those folks 'flippers' and they are pond scum of the lowest kind. they add no value and in fact, take value away by inflating prices and gobbling up special deals just to resell later on.

        recently I bought a circuit board from china and asked the seller for the schematic (it was diy oriented) and whil

      • by Rich0 (548339)

        There is an amazing imbalance in the cost of shipping an item from China and in the cost of sending it back to China and the sellers know and exploit this.

        Hmm, wonder if Chinese customs actually express skepticism at all those envelopes stamped with "gift?" Anytime I order something on Amazon that takes weeks to arrive for two cents plus $4 shipping it almost always includes a false customs declaration as an added bonus.

        Granted, when I get them on Amazon I tend to get what was promised, so the only people getting ripped off are the taxpayers, and those who work in US manufacturing who the tariffs are supposed to help.

    • by hondo77 (324058)

      I've ordered several items from aliexpress and haven't had a problem. If I did have a problem, I would have withheld payment, since payment doesn't actually get done until the buyer receives and is satisfied with the product (though you provide your CC# when you order). I'm sure they know the bad reputation buying from China has so they're doing this to overcome that. I made a small purchase first, then bought several more of the same type of items (cycling kit) from the same seller after that purchase went

      • Well, this is great. It's good to hear that you ordered ONE kind of product from ONE reseller and had a good experience.

        That doesn't invalidate what the many other people have had to say here.

        Why I prefer to buy via Ebay or Amazon -- even from "flippers" -- is because they speak ENGLISH and you can get your item in less than 2 weeks.

        Don't misunderstand me: I'm not trying to be a language bigot, but half the time when I'm reading an ad from a Chinese supplier I can't even tell what half the specs ar
  • by FilmedInNoir (1392323) on Wednesday May 07, 2014 @09:26AM (#46938827)
    and She's 60. Alibaba could be a major threat to online businesses as well as brick and mortar stores that rely on selling Chinese made goods at massive markups.
    The golden days of middle men is drawing to a close. (See Tesla and Car Dealerships)
    • by boristdog (133725)

      Exactly. Every time I see something I want that is manufactured in China, I go to Alibaba to find out what it REALLY costs.

  • " Critics, citing cultural differences (i.e., consumer branding and shopping preferences) as well as entrenched U.S. competition, say that the company may not be as successful in the U.S. Businesses such as Amazon, eBay, and PayPal already provide the type of services that the Alibaba Group offers. "

    I have used Alibaba extensively for more than ten years of B2B trading and was surprised the article would find critics comparing it to Amazon, eBay and Paypal. It is a huge wholesale and B2B trading platform,

  • I tried to get quotes on a shipment of Crucial M500 SSDs from Alibaba.com. I got 2 blatant scams and 8 counterfeits or knock offs and zero legitimate leads from the entire world. I set aside my preconceived notion that everyone in Asia is trying to rip everyone else off and went to Alibaba aaaaaaaaand grabbed back onto that idea in a hurry because it's true.

    I tried Aliexpress and holy damn are the prices higher than ebay and amazon for basically every single item I searched for. And it's the same not-s
  • Seems like they'd be the last online marketplace to ever collect US taxes.

    Which could be a feature, not a flaw.

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