TEXT OF STORY
Bill Radke: You may not have heard about it, but you might soon. Alibaba.com is the corporate giant of e-commerce in China. And today it starts a marketing push here in the States. From Shanghai, Marketplace’s Scott Tong reports.
Scott Tong: Alibaba.com is China’s top business-to-business Web site. More than 30 million people in the country use it to shop wholesale for everything from steel pipes to beaded belts to kidney beans. Now the company is targeting American entrepreneurs who also need suppliers. Here’s Mamie, an oven mitt designer featured in a company commercial for that new audience:
Alibaba commercial: Everything that I’d had in mind, but had no idea if I’d be able to find, I found on Alibaba.com. Once I found it, it was like lightning struck. Everything just started to fall into place.
It’s unclear if Mamie, the chipper business woman is a real person. Alibaba is forking out $30 million for overseas marketing, and another $200 million for global acquisitions — in related sectors like smart phones and e-payment systems.
Company founder Jack Ma thinks a lot of Chinese companies like his are on the verge of going global. He spoke recently at the Asia Society in New York.
Jack Ma: Next few year, what I suggest is American people pay more attention to China-growth, China model.
For Alibaba, he hopes that attention will come from new ads in U.S. business magazines and TV commercials on network and cable channels.
In Shanghai, I’m Scott Tong for Marketplace.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.