Alibaba Expands into Brazilian Market enters Brazil

SAO PAULO - ALIBABA.COM, China's biggest business-to-business web group, on Thursday officially started operations in Brazil, which it said showed huge potential for growth.

The Hong Kong-based company, which is partnered in the venture with another firm from the same territory, Ludatrade Technologies, presented its activities at a news conference in Sao Paulo.

Alibaba's sales director, Timothy Leung, said Internet penetration and a blossoming emerging-market economy made Brazil ripe for the Chinese group's formula of marketing small- and medium-sized companies on its website. 'We want to see a growth rate of 30 per cent to 50 per cent,' Ludatrade's chief executive, Kenneth Ma, said.

Alibaba is well known in Asia for matching up buyers and sellers on its web platforms, which operate in English, Chinese and Japanese. Each selling company pays a flat fee to display wares and contact information to potential clients in 240 countries and territories. Worldwide, that fee is US$3,000 (S$4,187), Leung said.

But Ma said Brazilian businesses would be asked to pay 50 per cent more - US$4,500 dollars - to cover the cost of translating into English product descriptions and catalogues, and for buyer verification. Leung said 156,000 users in Brazil had already signed up for Alibaba's services. The company staff of 20 was to be expanded to 1,000 by the end of 2010, he said., whose parent Alibaba Group is 40 per cent owned by US Internet giant Yahoo!, had net revenue of US$162 million in the last quarter of 2009, Leung said. The entire year showed 29 per cent growth compared to 2008, according to figures for the publicly traded company.
Alibaba expands into Brazilian market Ltd [HK1688], China's top e-commerce firm, has teamed up with Brazil's Ludatrade Technologia Ltda to tap the small- and medium-sized enterprise sector in the country, sources reported.

Brazil shows huge potential for growth and will serve as Alibaba's entry point into South America, according to Timothy Leung, Alibaba's sales director.

Alibaba already has 150,000 registered users with free accounts in Brazil. It charges premium members in Brazil about US$4,500 per year rather than the usual US$3,000 to cover the extra costs involved.

Registered users will be able get services including translation and foreign trade training as well as the business platform provided by Alibaba.

The partnership with Ludatrade offers an opportunity for Brazilian companies to display their products and contact information on, which reaches clients in 240 countries and regions.