Alibaba.com, parent company of Yahoo China, made a ‘strategic investment’ in Koubei.com, which is one of China’s largest classified listing and community websites.
According to Alibaba, ‘With the investment in Koubei, terms of which were not disclosed, Alibaba has gained a significant exposure in one of China’s fastest-growing e-commerce segments.’
Koubei.com, which means “word of mouth” in Chinese, was founded in Hangzhou in June 2004. In little over two years, it has become one of China’s most popular classified listing and community websites. It offers local classifieds and discussion forums for people to find and share information on apartment rentals, restaurants, entertainment, employment, goods and services, and just about anything else. Koubei.com has sites tailored to multiple cities in China.
“Community-based classified listings are an essential part of e- commerce,” said Tian Jian, Vice-President of Alibaba’s investment and acquisition group. “Besides buying and selling products online, people want a marketplace to trade services and share information about service providers. With our investment in Koubei, we’re partnering with the team that pioneered the online classified marketplace in China and opening up another channel to grow our existing e- commerce community of more than 40 million consumers and businesses in China.”
Alibaba’s monster Chinese presence includes:
* Alibaba International; the world’s largest online B2B marketplace for global trade
* Alibaba China; the largest online small- and medium-sized enterprise community in China
* Taobao, Asia’s largest consumer e- commerce website
* AliPay, China’s leading online payment service
* Yahoo! China