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Alibaba.com comes to Malaysia as local small businesses turn to e-commerce

Published: 07 Aug 2009 01:11:24 PST

Kuala Lumpur, August 6, 2009 – An increasing number of Malaysian small businesses are shrugging off the effects of the economic downturn through e-commerce.  According to Alibaba.com, the world's leading business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce company, its local membership has doubled over the last 12 months and more than 8,000 Malaysian companies are joining its site every month.

Malaysia's export-dependent economy has been hit hard by the global financial crisis.  For the first five months of 2009, Malaysia's exports decreased by 23.5 percent to RM205.45 billion and imports contracted by 27.4 percent to RM155.33 billion compared with the corresponding period in 2008.  However, on Alibaba.com's global e-commerce platform, small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) are bucking this trend.  In the first quarter of 2009, overseas buyer inquiries to small Malaysian suppliers on the site were up 146 percent year-on-year and Malaysian import and domestic trade inquiries grew by 141 percent year-on-year.  Malaysia has more than 500,000 SMEs , which account for more than 90 percent of business establishments, 56 percent of total employment and 32 percent of the GDP .

"Small businesses are the engine of the overall Malaysian economy and they can help drive the country out of recession," said Brian Wong, Senior Director of Marketing and Strategic Business Development for Alibaba.com.  "As demand weakens at home, Malaysian companies need to look outside their own borders and their traditional export markets to find new areas of growth, such as in emerging markets like China, the Middle East and South America.  Today we have opened a new gateway to domestic and international trade for Malaysian SMEs so they can grow their business, even during tough times."

The surge in online trade activity is occurring just as Alibaba.com and Infodata Media Sdn Bhd,  Alibaba.com's first Malaysian channel sales partner, are launching a new, higher level service for export-oriented small businesses.  The Gold Supplier International Edition allows Malaysian suppliers to market to Alibaba.com's eight million registered users globally.

Infodata Media will leverage its 20 years of experience serving local SMEs to help them make the transition from offline commerce to e-commerce through customer support, guidance and training.  "Currently only 30 percent of SMEs in Malaysia have a web presence.  We want to educate small businesses that ICT adoption is no longer just for big corporations, it is affordable for everyone.  For around the same cost as setting up a website, local SMEs can have a virtual storefront on a world class trade portal with access to a huge pool of active buyers and sellers," said Song Hock Koon, Group Chief Executive Officer, Infodata Media.

Members of the Gold Supplier International Edition enjoy enhanced features, including first-level priority listings with a Gold Supplier logo and unlimited online product listings.  They will also benefit from offline exposure at more than 30 international trade shows around the world and big buyer matching services with some of the world's largest multinational firms.  All suppliers applying for a Gold Supplier membership on Alibaba.com must pass an authentication and verification process conducted by an independent third-party agency.

Founded in 1999, Alibaba.com helps small businesses grow by connecting them with potential customers and trusted suppliers from around the world for every imaginable good, from laptops to wedding dresses to auto engine parts.  As of March 31, 2009, it has more than 8.6 million registered users on its global trade marketplace, including 200,000 from Malaysia .


(From left to right) Mr. Lee Hwee Hsiung, Chairman, ICT Bureau, SMI Association; Mr. Brian Wong, Senior Director of Marketing and Strategic Business Development for Alibaba.com; Mr. Song Hock Koon, Chief Executive Officer of Infodata Media Sdn Bhd




(From left to right) Mr. Lee Hwee Hsiung, Chairman, ICT Bureau, SMI Association; Mr. Brian Wong, Senior Director of Marketing and Strategic Business Development for Alibaba.com; Mr. Song Hock Koon, Chief Executive Officer of Infodata Media Sdn Bhd

About Alibaba.com

Alibaba.com Limited (HKSE:1688) (HK.1688) is the global leader in business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce and the flagship company of Alibaba Group. Founded in 1999, Alibaba.com makes it easy for millions of buyers and suppliers around the world to do business online through three marketplaces: a global trade marketplace (www.alibaba.com) for importers and exporters, a Chinese marketplace (www.alibaba.com.cn) for domestic trade in China, and, through an associated company, a Japanese marketplace (www.alibaba.co.jp) facilitating trade to and from Japan. Together, its marketplaces form a community of more than 40 million registered users from over 240 countries and regions. Originating from Hangzhou in eastern China, Alibaba.com has offices in more than 40 cities across Greater China as well as in Europe and the United States.


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