Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd is welcoming small businesses in the U.S. to sell on Alibaba.com.
“You get to compete and act like a multinational company in a way you’ve never had the tools or technology to be able to do,” John Caplan, head of North America B2B at Alibaba Group, told the news outlet.
Alibaba is hoping to win over U.S. businesses as it faces new competitive challenges in addition to navigating the U.S.-China trade war. About one-third of its customers are from the U.S.
Although the U.S. is Alibaba’s first global target, Caplan told Reuters, Alibaba has a “very clear approach to other markets.”
To get an online store running on Alibaba will cost U.S. sellers approximately $2,000. By contrast, Amazon charges third-party sellers by the month or per item, Reuters said.
This is the first time Alibaba has extended an invitation to U.S. sellers. Participating merchants will be able to reach potential buyers from China as well as India, Brazil and Canada.
Unlike competitor Amazon, Alibaba does not sell inventory of its own, and hopes to attract manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors.
Alibaba hopes to have 40,000 global brands over the next three years. In June, the company rolled out a merchant-focused English language website for its Tmall Global marketplace.
The company recently formed a joint partnership with Russian eCommerce giant Mail.ru and mobile company MegaFon. The new venture, AliExpress Russia JV, will cater to Russia and the surrounding countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). It’s estimated to be worth about $2 billion.
The company is also reportedly mulling raising $20 billion in a second Hong Kong listing. Its market capitalization currently stands at $400 billion.