Alibaba surges into Australian market



Australian SMB's are among the most prolific in the world when it comes to sourcing products and services internationally according to data from Alibaba.com.

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By David Olsen

Australian SMB’s are among the most prolific in the world when it comes to sourcing products and services internationally according to data from Alibaba.com.

AbibabaAlibaba’s data shows that enquiries from Australian SMBs to overseas suppliers on the site have risen 31 percent in the past six months, compared to a growth of 8 percent in the US and UK.

Alibaba.com,with more than 12.5 million B2B users of its international marketplace, revealed the online trade data for Australia at an ‘Open Sesame’ event at Westpac Place in Sydney.  Latest figures show that the number of Australian SMBs using the website increased 53 percent in 2009 to more than 316,000[2].

85 percent of Australian SMBs are using Alibaba.com to source products or services, with consumer electronics the most sourced category (16 percent), followed by fashion and apparel (14 percent), and sporting goods (6 percent).  China is the biggest supplier to Australian users of Alibaba.com, accounting for 62 percent of the sourcing enquiries, followed by Hong Kong SAR, and then India.

Sabrina Peng, VP of International Operations at Alibaba.com said: “We believe that Australia is on the cusp of an e-commerce boom and we want to help Australian entrepreneurial SMBs be part of that. With more than 1.9 million SMBs representing 96 percent of all businesses[3] and a high level of internet penetration, Australia is a key buyer and seller market for Alibaba.com.”

Other trade data released by Alibaba.com revealed that, as well as being the biggest supplier to Australian users, China is also the biggest buyer of Australian goods via the site, accounting for 17 percent of all enquiries to Australian suppliers on Alibaba.com.  India is the second biggest buyer (9 percent) and Australian buyers (7 percent).  Food and beverages are the most popular items bought from Australian businesses on Alibaba.com, followed by agriculture, which is the fastest growing category, accounting for 11 percent of all enquiries.

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