China's B2B e-commerce portal alibaba.com has entered into a long-term strategic partnership with Infomedia, India's largest yellow pages and special interest publishing company, Alibaba announced on Tuesday.
"India is a priority market for Alibaba's global plans and Infomedia will help provide on-ground support including sales, marketing and customer service," said the Alibaba CEO Wei Zhe.
"We believe the alliance will help Alibaba become a major online trade platform in India by the end of 2008," Wei said. Alibaba and Infomedia partnership will combine the power of traditional print publishing with online media and e-commerce to provide India small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) with a one-stop solution for global and domestic trade.
Around 20,000 Indian companies have signed up each month for Alibaba's India channel since the launching of the channel last December and Alibaba has more than 400,000 members in India.
Alibaba's net profit surged to 967.8 million yuan ($138 million), more than quadrupled from a year earlier. Currently, the Hangzhou-based company has nearly 300,000 paid members, accounting for about a 70 percent market share of online B2B trade in China.
Currently, India has more than 8 million SMEs with employees of about 30 million. A predicted 3 million SMEs participate in the B2B trade.
(Xinhua News Agency May 7, 2008)