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Alibaba’s launching of 1688’s international version

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Lately, we heard news that 1688.com, alibaba’s Chinese version of its B2B platform is inviting suppliers to join its new program. In this program, suppliers pay ¥39800 RMB to become verified gold sellers, and can upgrade to receive more exposure if paying extra. 

Why 1688.com choose to compete with alibaba when their international department already exists? 

It is said that alibaba and 1688 are different departments. They have separate KPI to accomplish, thus bringing more competition within the company. 

How buyers can be affected in international trade? 

As for 1688 suppliers, most of them can’t speak English. Translation and AI tools will be used in the communication process. You may find it hard to communicate on simple issues, for the sellers don’t have the mindset of international trade yet. 

The good thing is, the competition will give buyers more say on the price and service. Just like Temu, the platform that offers super cheap but also function-able products worldwide, thanks to its ability in coordinating Chinese factories, front and end warehousing and delivery. However, Temu’s success is built on the blood of suppliers, factory workers, and irregardless of resource waste (for producing some useless stuff that people will never use again).  This is not a sustainable business model. 

As a result, if you are looking for products of higher quality, looking for supplier’s official website may be a better way. Firstly, it gives you more information on their products. Secondly, you can talk with their sales who understand your words and your perspective. Last but not the least, if they are not having a alibaba or 1688 website, they save a lot on marketing and this saving can add up to the final price you get. 

Summary 

It’s still always a good choice to go to alibaba and the coming 1688 international version. You can compare the prices. But when closing the deal, it’s better to be more cautious and choose a supplier that provides better services. 

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