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Alibaba to Build a Trading Platform for Small Businesses


Jun. 27 2019, Updated 11:23 a.m. ET

Yiwu described as the world’s largest wholesale hub

Alibaba (BABA) will build a trading platform specifically designed for small businesses in the Chinese city of Yiwu, the company announced recently. The platform to be built in Yiwu is part of Alibaba’s eWTP (electronic World Trade Platform) initiative, which it launched in October 2017.

Yiwu, a trading hub to the east of China, is described as the world’s largest wholesale market. It attracts over 500,000 merchants from around the world every year. The goal of the trading platform that Alibaba will build in Yiwu will be to reduce the barriers the small businesses face in accessing global markets.

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Alibaba wants to reach 2.0 billion consumers

Yiwu becomes the second Chinese city that Alibaba has picked as a hub for its eWTP initiative. The previously selected Hangzhou as an eWTP hub. Alibaba has also inked deals to set up eWTP hubs in Belgium, Malaysia, and Rwanda.

For Alibaba, initiatives such as eWTP are designed to contribute to its goal of becoming a global company. Alibaba is on a mission to serve 2.0 billion consumers, create 100 million jobs, and support 10 million businesses around the world by 2036. At the end of the day, Alibaba hopes that efforts such as building a trading platform for small exporters in Yiwu will contribute toward its own growth, not just in terms of commerce but also in terms of digital payments and cloud computing.

Alibaba leads in revenue growth

Alibaba’s revenue rose 51% YoY (year-over-year) to $13.9 billion in the first quarter, making it the fastest-growing major e-commerce company. JD.com (JD), Amazon (AMZN), and eBay (EBAY) recorded revenue rises of 21%, 17%, and 2.0% YoY, respectively, in the comparable quarter. Revenue rose 40% at Etsy (ETSY) in the quarter.


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