Alibaba.com announced this week that the company has launched a new “China TrustPass for Individuals.” The service will only be available on Alibaba.com’s Chinese language sourcing site.  Previously, China TrustPass membership was only available to corporations.

The individuals subscribing to the service will need to provide some verification data in order to qualify including their identity card and bank account details. The individual membership fee will be RMB 2,300 compared to RMB 2,800 for the corporate membership. Alibaba.com’s Chinese site has over 280,000 paying members and the company stated that registered users on the website are growing at 36% year-on-year.

Alibaba.com CEO, David Wei commented, “Starting up a new business and trading over the Internet has never been easier and more affordable for entrepreneurs.  Alibaba.com has always been a pioneer of trust and safety on the Internet and we believe that a reliable trust system for individuals as well as corporate e-commerce users is essential. China TrustPass for Individuals will help entrepreneurs build credibility and open up new business opportunities.”   Source: Alibaba.com Announcement June 10th,2008

BIIA Comment:  This development has the hall marks of a ‘substitute consumer credit bureau’ designed to overcome the lack of consumer information in China.  The Consumer Credit Bureau operated by the People’s Bank of China provides data only to the financial services industry.  Other credit grantors are locked out.

BIIA Newsletter June – 2008 Issue