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Alibaba Business That Serves Amazon in China Posts Strong Growth

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1688.com sales soared 120%

Alibaba’s (BABA) China-focused wholesale marketplace, 1688.com, recorded strong growth in 2018, a top Alibaba executive revealed this month. Speaking at a trade summit, Alibaba vice president Wang Hai disclosed that sales at 1688.com had increased 120% in 2018 driven by an increase in the number of businesses procuring supplies from the platform, according to a report from Xinhua News Agency.

As one of Alibaba’s online marketplaces, 1688.com is focused on connecting merchants with suppliers in China. Merchants come to 1688.com for a wide range of supplies, from apparel to toys. The number of businesses that source products through 1688.com doubled in 2018, the report said. Some of the items sourced from 1688.com end up in consumer marketplaces operated by the likes of Amazon (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY).

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Alibaba’s Chinese wholesale revenue jumped 40% thanks to 1688.com

Alibaba’s Chinese wholesale business, which includes 1688.com, grew 40% YoY (year-over-year) to post revenue of $392 million in the fourth quarter.

Gains in China’s wholesale business helped propel Alibaba’s top line 41% YoY to $17.1 billion in the fourth quarter. That, in turn, led Alibaba to a quarterly profit of $4.8 billion in the quarter—the largest among its industry peers. Amazon and eBay made profits of $3.0 billion and $763 million, respectively, in the quarter. Etsy (ETSY) posted a profit of $41.3 million in the quarter. Shopify (SHOP) and JD.com (JD) posted losses of $1.5 million and $0.7 billion, respectively, in the quarter.

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