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Alibaba.com Gives International Suppliers a New Gateway to Global Trade
Gold Supplier membership extended to suppliers outside Greater China
"Feedback from our members around the world in the past year has made it clear that buyers want to choose from a broad pool of verified suppliers and that suppliers outside of Greater China want the same level of exposure and value-added services as our Chinese exporter customers have received," said David Wei, chief executive officer of Alibaba.com. "The launch of Gold Supplier international edition is another example of Alibaba.com putting our customers first by ensuring they all have top-tier tools to grow their business and maximize their return on investment. We expect this initiative will diversify our China supplier concentration and drive paying membership and revenue growth from outside of Greater China in the long term."
Founded in China in 1999, Alibaba.com built up a large base of quality suppliers in mainland China in tandem with the country's rising position as the world's top exporter.
In October 2000, it launched its Gold Supplier membership to help exporters in mainland China to connect with buyers worldwide. Gold Supplier was successfully extended to suppliers in Hong Kong and Taiwan in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Alibaba.com's International TrustPass membership was introduced in August 2001 to serve suppliers outside of China, but it was offered at a lesser level of service and exposure. Gold Supplier international edition will replace International TrustPass and provide all verified suppliers with comparable services and exposure to buyers worldwide.
At introduction, Gold Supplier international edition will cost US$2,999 per year, similar to the entry-level Gold Supplier package available to Greater China suppliers. In March 2009, in order to speed the transition, Alibaba.com began offering its existing pool of around 17,000 International TrustPass members, for a limited time, the option of a free trial upgrade to Gold Supplier international edition status through the length of their current contract. Any value-added services, such as keyword purchases, would be paid separately. New International TrustPass members who sign up between now and June 15 will enjoy the same upgrade to Gold Supplier international edition during the remainder of their annual contract period.
At launch, Gold Supplier international edition members will enjoy many of the same features as their Greater China counterparts, including first-level priority listings with a Gold Supplier logo and product showcases. Additional features such as premium website design templates and the ability to upload a factory video to a supplier's virtual storefront will be added later. 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.
"This move solidifies Alibaba.com's position as a truly global e-commerce marketplace providing buyers with a trustworthy platform to connect with suppliers around the world, whether they are from China, India, Turkey, North America or the 240-plus other countries that are represented on our website," added Wei.
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