Alibaba Hits New Milestone:  One million customers and counting – while the Alibaba user community has reached 61 million.

Hong Kong-listed Alibaba.com released its 2010 financial results:  Revenues in 2010 jumped 43% reaching US$843 million. The company’s International Marketplace generated 58% of total revenues (US$491 million), while its China Marketplace contributed another 34% (US$287 million). Net income grew 45% to US$223 million. Diluted earnings per share were RMB 0.29 (US$0.044) in 2010.

“2010, the „Year of Customer Service, ‟ was an important year for Alibaba.com. It was the year when the company hit the 1 million paying member milestone; the year when we completed the most acquisitions domestically and internationally; and the year when we increased endeavors to maintain a trustworthy e-commerce platform and refocused on creating value for our customers,” said Jonathan Lu, CEO and Executive Director of Alibaba.com. “This strong financial performance achieved despite the slow progress of the global economic recovery and the company’s aggressive action against fraud late in the year, along with the successful upgrade of our business model, are strong evidence of the company’s intent to serve customers better while maintaining balanced financials.”

For the quarter, total registered users were higher by 9 percent reaching 61.8 million. International users increased 20.8 percent, and China users gained 4.7 percent. By the end of 2010, the company had 809,362 paying customers, up 31.6 percent from the previous year. When including customers of HiChina Web Solutions, which was acquired in 2009, the company had more than 1 million paying customers.

Alibaba introduced a transaction-based platform as an important next step to value added services: Before 2009, Alibaba.com was purely a platform for the exchange of information between buyers and sellers to facilitate their online marketing activities. Alibaba has been exploring the value it can bring to customers by enabling them to complete online transactions via Alibaba.com. The first effort in this area was the launch of AliExpress, a small-order online wholesale transaction platform, followed by the introduction of 1688.com which upgrades its China marketplace. Both transaction platforms were officially launched in the second quarter of 2010, and the monetization of AliExpress already started during the year.

Trust and Safety Initiative: As a consequence of recent fraud cases by certain ‘Gold Suppliers’ Alibaba has taken an unprecedented step, in terms of policies and enforcement efforts, to foster safety and trust in its platform and business model. It has introduced several new programs to protect buyers and suppliers by making trading on its platform safer, combating e-commerce fraud and to help victims of fraud. It is strengthening its supplier audits program through the use of independent parties. Thus Alibaba appears to be getting ahead of competition in supplier evaluation as well as credit information services.

Alibaba.com is a unit of Alibaba Group in which Yahoo Inc. has 40 percent ownership. The company said in fiscal 2011 it would focus on servicing existing members to propel growth and to boost shareholder value.

Source: Alibaba Press Release