Alibaba Backs China Potential For Vintage Luxury E-commerce
Now that Chinese e-tail giant Alibaba dominates China’s e-commerce mass market with behemoths Taobao and Tmall, it’s moving into something slightly more niche: vintage luxury. According to tech site Recode, the internet giant approached 1stdibs, a U.S.-based site which sells vintage luxury items through a network of retailers, to offer Series C funding. The luxury e-tailer was founded in 2001 with the goal of bringing the Paris flea market to the internet, which is certainly a high-end one—the average purchase price is $2,000, according to 1stdibs. The website offers a plethora of vintage fashion, jewelry, watches, furniture, and even fine art. Although based in the United States, Chinese buyers are part of the website’s significant contingent of international customers, which make up one third of its total buyers. Alibaba has proposed to help 1stdibs’ efforts in Asia, where the company is eyeing a growing number of individual Chinese buyers. As China’s wealthy luxury shoppers become more focused on individualism, the concept of high-end vintage is slowly cropping up with the opening of new vintage boutiques and promotion of vintage car culture. Alibaba clearly sees potential for luxury vintage in China, stating that 1stdibs has “a great vision and strong sense of mission for their company.”
Source: Jing Daily
Alibaba revenues surge in Q3 2013
The total revenue of China's largest e-commerce company Alibaba Group rose 51 percent to US$1.78 billion in the third quarter last year as it continues its expansion in the online shopping sector. Profit in the three months up to September 30 added 12 percent from the previous quarter to reach US$800 million, according to a stock exchange filing by Yahoo, which holds a 24 percent stake in Alibaba Group. Last year, Alibaba Group made a string of investments to boost its presence outside the e-commerce sector. Alibaba paid US$586 million for an 18 percent stake in Sina Weibo, the Twitter-like microblog service, to boost social commerce income. It also has been pushing forward on mobile payment services through Alipay, the third-party payment service affiliated with the group, to tap the growing demand of consumers to browse and purchase from smart devices. On November 11, during the Singles' Day shopping spree in China, when vendors offered a 50 percent discount, transactions reached a record 35 billion yuan (US$5.77 billion) on Alibaba's Tmall and Taobao platforms.
Source: Shanghai Daily