What Alibaba says about global trading

Alibaba.com is a popular trading platform in that allows the buying and selling of goods in and out of China.  Just to give you an idea of its reach, it’s very popular with small and medium-sized import/export companies, and boasts 150 million users in China, 1.9 million in the US, and 1.4 million in Europe.

When discussing the patterns of trade, the company says a couple of interesting things.

Comparing its US with its UK users.

“If you look at the US, we have 1.9 million users, but more than 96% of them register as buyers only. ­Compare that with the UK where 19% have ­registered as buyers and sellers,”

And on how Chinese consumers deal with dubious quality issues, and how reputation factors in consumption choices.

To avoid contamination, mothers have turned to Japan via Alibaba’s taobao.com consumer auction site. Wei said the new middle class also wanted upmarket prams, cots and clothes, which is where the Japanese retailers clean up. … Chinese women keep up with the latest fashion trends by sourcing clothes directly from Italy and cosmetics by the tonne from Korea.

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