Alibaba.com just released its 2009 financial results with a revenue increase of an impressive US$567.5 million, a 29% increase over last year’s US$440 million.  Net income fell significantly dropping from US$169 million to US$148 million – down more than 12%. On the upside, fourth quarter net income was up nearly 49% at US$41.2 million. Alibaba is also sitting on a pile of cash – US$1.1 billion. That should see them through any recession, or alternatively branching out in supporting services such as information content, or moving into transaction based trade finance for SMEs.

Alibaba also added 9.6 million registered users in 2009 – a year-on-year increase of 25%. The company now has 47.7 million registered users. 11.5 million on its International Marketplace and 36.2 million on its China Marketplace. The International Marketplace, which generates most of the revenues, saw registered users grow by 46% last year. 

In September 2009, Alibaba celebrated the 10th anniversary of Alibaba.com.  During this event, Alibaba revealed more about its vision for the development of e-commerce in the coming decade.  The past 10 years have proven the power of e-commerce to generate business opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs.  In the coming 10 years, Alibaba believes e-commerce can evolve beyond serving the sales and marketing function for suppliers.  Its goal is to help small businesses overcome challenges and inefficiencies not only in sales and marketing, but also in procurement, management and financing through innovative technologies. 

To ensure the realization of this vision in the coming decade, Alibaba has reorganized its business initiatives into the following business units: the International Core Business Unit (ICBU), the China Core Business Unit (CCBU), the Information Technology Business Unit (ITBU), and Ali-Institute.  ICBU and CCBU are extensions of its existing international marketplace and China marketplace, respectively.  ITBU and Ali-Institute are new divisions that will help small businesses get better access to technology to upgrade their operations, as well as train their personnel in the use of this technology.  Source:  Alibaba Press Release

BIIA Newsletter April I – 2010 Issue