Alibaba is China’s big dog in small business B2B e-commerce

In China, Alibaba.com accounts for nearly half of all B2B e-commerce sales transacted by small and mid-size companies. But new competitors are emerging, EnfoDesk says.

Paul Demery

In China, nine online companies account for more than two-thirds of business-to-business e-commerce sales transacted by small and mid-sized business, according to the most recent data compiled by EnfoDesk, a research unit of Analysys International.

But among those nine companies, one dominates: Alibaba Group’s Alibaba.com e-marketplace, with a commanding 46.6% market share. The second-largest player is Global Resources, with less than 10% of transaction volume. EnfoDesk’s rankings are based on market shares compiled for the third quarter of 2013.

But Alibaba—which hosts e-commerce sales across 29 product categories ranging from agricultural products, industrial machinery and automobiles to consumer electronics, apparel and health care—isn’t likely to maintain its current level of dominance for long, EnfoDesk says. “Along with the rise of a variety of business models in market segments, its leading edge will gradually decline,” EnfoDesk says in a recent report.

And it isn’t Alibaba’s closest competitors that are nipping at its heels, the report says. Global Resources, ranked second after Alibaba with a market share of 7.0%, and third-ranked HC360.com, at 4.3%, have been seeing their shares dip as their gaps with Alibaba widen. (Earlier market share figures were not readily available.)

Rather, it’s the debut of newcomers that are absorbing more market share, EnfoDesk says. It identifies among new players 315.com.cn, Makepolo.com, Cogobuy.com and the vertical business products search engine, JQW.com.

“B2B e-commerce is in constant innovation and exploration,” EnfoDesk says.

Following are the top nine companies by share of B2B e-commerce sales transacted by small and mid-size businesses in China for the third quarter of 2013:

● Alibaba 46.6%

● Global Resources 7.0%

● HC360.com 4.3%

● Chinamade 3.1%

● Netsun 2.2%

● Dhgate.com 1.8%

● EmedChina.cn 1.6%

● IBI 1.4%

● B2B.cn 1.2%

● All others 30.8%

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315.com.cn, Alibaba, Analysys International, China, Cogobuy.com, EnfoDesk, Global Resources, HC360.com, JQW.com, Makepolo.com, NeustarMarch14b2b