Interview with Mr David Wei

Face2Face
Mr David Wei
Mr David Wei
CEO
Alibaba.com (Alibaba Group)
Alibaba.com (Alibaba Group)

What are your future plans for adding more services for your customers?

We believe user loyalty and activity are critical to the success of our marketplaces so we will continue to develop and introduce new features and tools for both buyers and suppliers. Following are a few of the many features and services we are working on right now to add more value to our members and make doing business on the Internet even easier:
  • We will further facilitate communications among our users by enhancing our instant message service, online forums and other communication services.

  • China’s market is not just an export market, with a raising middle class it also offers huge opportunities for global exporters to sell into China. Alibaba.com will help SMEs in India and around the world tap into China’s domestic marketplace.

  • Our sister company, Alipay, operates China’s leading online payment service based on an escrow system. We will launch Alipay on Alibaba.com’s platform to help our members with small transactions, such as paying for product samples, which bank letters of credit traditionally don’t cover.

  • We will continue to expand our tradeshow partnership program which aims to unite the online and offline trade communities, providing global buyers and sellers with more opportunities to connect and trade. Alibaba.com currently partners with some of the world’s best tradeshow organizers including Kenfair, IFEMA, Koelnmesse and Hannover Fairs.

  • What are the growth strategies for next five years for Alibaba?

    In addition to enhancing the services and features on our site to further improve user loyalty and activity, a key growth strategy is to increase the size of our marketplaces by expanding our user base and active listings to leverage the network effect. We also plan to pursue growth through adding more paying members and increasing sales of value-added services, selectively expanding into international markets and acquiring complementary businesses, assets and technologies.

    What is the price structure for various services offered by Alibaba?

    International marketplace: Gold Supplier membership: RMB50,000 per year International TrustPass membership: US$589 per year China marketplace: China TrustPass membership: RMB2,800 per year

    Tell us more about how you plan to expand Alibaba in other countries.

    We are taking a cautious approach to international expansion. We intend to expand our sales and customer service capabilities, directly or in partnership with third party organizations, to acquire more members and sell premium service offerings in countries and regions outside of China. For example, we recently began offering the Gold Supplier membership packages to Hong Kong suppliers. Our first priority is to focus on key manufacturing and trading countries and regions in Asia, such as Taiwan, Japan and India.

    Alibaba has rewarded its shareholders and its customers very handsomely. What is your message to them?

    Our philosophy has always been that customers are No. 1, employees are No. 2, and shareholders are No. 3. This has not changed now that we are a listed company. The interests of our overall community of users is our first priority and drives everything we do.

    Is there anything that you would like to add to the interview?

    SMEs have been one of the key driving forces of the economies of China and India. They represent the largest engines of trade both domestically and internationally. It is estimated that there are more than 42 million SMEs in China and around 10 million in India. Currently we have 21 million Chinese SMEs on our marketplaces and over 240,000 of them, or around 1%, are paying members so there is a lot of room for us to grow. Alibaba.com is focused on capturing and serving this SME market in China and globally.

    Published on: 03/12/2007

    DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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