Alibaba Group Launches Business Software Company


Alisoft to leverage Alibaba.com's relationships with more than 18 million small- and medium-sized enterprises; Web-based business model a breakthrough for China's software industry


Shanghai, China, January 8, 2007 - Alibaba Group, a global e-commerce leader and the largest e-commerce company in China, today announced the launch of Alisoft, an online business software provider to be established as a new company serving small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in China. Alisoft, developed out of Alibaba.com's e-commerce software centre, a project founded in 2004 to create products tailored to SMEs engaged in e-commerce, will initially target the 18 million SME users of Alibaba.com's services.

"E-commerce has become much more than just an additional sales channel for Chinese SMEs, it is the driving force behind their entire business," said Jack Ma, CEO of the Alibaba Group. "E-commerce is changing the way companies do business, from communications, to customer relationship management, to after sales services. Alisoft will provide easy solutions for customers to integrate e-commerce with their back-end systems."

SMEs represent a fast-growing segment of China's software market as more companies realize the advantage of using software applications to strengthen internal management and business competitiveness. However, among China's more than 40 million SMEs, it is estimated that less than 10 per cent have adopted advanced software applications, far lower than the average of 60 per cent in more mature western markets. Currently, international software giants dominate the software market in China but piracy issues have often made it difficult for traditional software models to succeed. Alisoft's web based software model overcomes the challenges of software piracy, providing a sustainable business model while fostering innovation in the business software industry.

"No other company understands SMEs and e-commerce like Alibaba," said Oliver Wang, General Manager of Alisoft. "We have used this knowledge to develop a cost effective, simple web based product that Chinese SMEs will embrace. Our relationships with more than 18 million SMEs give us a great advantage to succeed."

Alisoft's online, on-demand business services can be accessed through its website (Alisoft.com). It is currently offering five different on-demand applications:

  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Inventory management
  • Sales force management
  • Financial tools
  • Marketing information management

Alisoft's business software services come in three editions: global trade, domestic China trade and individual (C2C) trade.

Alisoft will also assume responsibility for the Alibaba Group's real-time business communications tools. To grow its leadership in this area, the Group's popular B2B and C2C instant messaging services will be merged into one service, under the name "Ali Wang Wang."

In less than one year of free testing, Alisoft's web based software services have attracted more than 500,000 active users and more than three million registered users. As a comparison, Salesforce.com, the current market leader in on-demand business services, has around 500,000 paying subscribers. Alisoft will begin to charge a fee for some of its business software services in the first half of 2007.

Alisoft will become the fifth company in the Alibaba Group. Other companies include: Alibaba.com, the world's largest online B2B marketplace for global and domestic China trade; Taobao, Asia's most popular e-commerce website; Alipay, China's leading online payment service; and Yahoo! China, a leading search engine and portal, acquired from Yahoo! Inc. in October 2005. The combined group now covers all five pillars of e-commerce: trust, e-marketplace, search, payment and software.

About Alisoft

Alisoft is the only provider of easy to use, on-demand business software services for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in China. It allows customers to access and manage their CRM, inventory, sales, finance and marketing information and communications tools anytime they need via a simple website. Alisoft, a division of the Alibaba Group, serves SMEs by seamlessly connecting e-commerce to their back end business services.

About Alibaba Group

Alibaba Group is a global e-commerce leader and the largest e-commerce company in China. It operates several e-commerce platforms that connect individuals and businesses from China and around the world. Alibaba makes doing business easy, enabling an interactive community of millions to meet, chat, search for products and trade online.

For more information, please visit http://www.alibaba.com

Media Contacts

Christina Splinder
Alibaba.com
Phone: +8610 6598 5281
Email: csplinder@alibaba-inc.com






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