Hangzhou, 17th October: The Alibaba Group announced its latest plan to invest RMB 1.8 billion (US$282 million) to its B2C subsidiary, Tmall.com (Taobao Mall), in an effort to assist small- and medium-sized enterprises. The announcement was made after China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) reportedly stepped in to mediate an online protest staged on Taobao Mall by small business owners after learning Alibaba’s plan to increase membership fees by a minimum of five-fold earlier this month.

Amongst a series of measures, Alibaba outlined that RMB 1 billion (US$157 million) of the investment will be used to support half of the supplier’s deposit for the company’s fraud protection fund. Also, loan guarantees worth RMB 500 million (US$78 million) will be provided to selected small businesses, while the remaining RMB 300 million (US$47 million) will be used on marketing-related services.

 Source: Business Strategies Group Hong Kong