Going global!  Alibaba sets up European headquarters in London to attract more users outside China.  Alibaba, which connects mainly small businesses with suppliers and trading partners over an Ebay-like internet platform, has 40m registered users, around 9.5m of which are from outside China. 

The company had 400,000 registered users in the UK, and is signing around 2,000 new ones each week.  Alibaba had previously opened a European base in Geneva which may have looked central on the map, but proved to be a bit of a business backwater.  Hence Alibaba seems to be making a fresh start in London, which is probably a much more convenient place for a variety of reasons (language, tax, international business expertise, logistics etc.).

Alibaba’s direct competitor Global Sources has had a European base for many years and is already pretty well established with larger, corporate European buyers of consumer merchandise.  Source: Financial Times / Business Strategies Group

BIIA Newsletter October – 2009 Issue