Alibaba rival to top sales target as Chinese shoppers flock to Internet

By Adam Rose

BEIJING (Reuters) -, China's second-largest e-commerce site, is set to exceed 100 billion yuan ($16.47 billion) in annual sales for the first time in a market that has drawn investment from global retailing names such as Amazon and Wal-Mart.

Sales volumes will likely eclipse the company's target of 100 billion yuan compared with 60 billion yuan in 2012, said in a press release on Monday. The smaller rival of China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said it has broken even for the first three quarters of the year and may turn profitable at any time, declining to be more specific.

China's business-to-consumer e-commerce sales may surpass $180 billion this year due to a rising Internet penetration rate, expanding middle class incomes and a steadily improving distribution network, according to New York-based market research firm eMarketer.

The country's e-commerce prospects have attracted investment from Wal-Mart, which now owns roughly 51 percent of Chinese e-tailer Yihaodian. Amazon bought e-tailer in 2004, which eventually became Amazon China.

"The market itself is growing, we're also growing our market share,"'s Chief Operating Officer Shen Haoyu told Reuters in a telephone interview on Monday. "People are getting more comfortable with buying online."

As a private company, does not release revenue figures, and would not say if it broke even in previous years.

"We're not making crazy money, but we're not losing crazy money," Shen said., previously known as 360Buy, has done well enough to attract foreign investors.

Over the past six years, it has secured $2.23 billion from investors including the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal's Kingdom Holding Co, using these funds to expand its logistics network and employ aggressive pricing tactics.

But despite its fast growth, still stands in the shadow of its main B2C competitor, Alibaba's Tmall, which dominates 51.1 percent of the market, according to Chinese Internet market research firm iResearch. has 17.5 percent and Amazon China controls just 2.6 percent. has tried to differentiate itself by operating its own network of couriers and warehouses, a factor it says ensures timely and efficient delivery. Tmall and Alibaba's online B2B marketplace Taobao still depend on merchants and external courier firms for their logistics.

"If they can continue to build their niche in the market place, because of their reputation for good service, their reputation for good products ... they have firm ground to stand on," said Ben Cavender, principal analyst at China Market Research Group.

But the gap between the two competitors is still large. During a 12-day sale centered around China's equivalent of Cyber Monday,'s turnover reached $1.6 billion, far less than Tmall and Taobao, which had one-day turnover of $5.7 billion combined.


The high-profile cash infusions from abroad have fuelled speculation about a possible initial public offering. was valued at $7.3 billion in late 2012 after a round of financing. At the time it denied reports it was planning an IPO before 2013.

In 2011, Thomson Reuters publication IFR reported that an IPO valued at $4-$5 billion was imminent. The sale did not materialize.

On Monday, Shen said does not have specific plans for an IPO.

"The company will pick the right time to IPO. We'll consider the market situation, we'll consider the company's situation. At this point we don't have specific plans," he said.

The e-tailer is not the only target of speculation.

Shen said the timing of a possible Alibaba IPO is not a factor for

(Reporting by Adam Rose; Editing by Ryan Woo)


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philippines backs support for small enterprises at APEC meet

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines' top trade official on Saturday called for support for the integration of micro, small and medium enterprises in global trade, which he said would help reduce poverty and inequality in the Asia-Pacific region. …

  • US renews travel warning to Mindanao
    US renews travel warning to Mindanao

    The US State Department renewed its warning about the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu archipelago, certain regions and cities of Mindanao and the southern Sulu Sea area. In an update on Wednesday of a travel warning it issued Nov. 20, 2014, the State Department said US citizens should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu archipelago due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there. …

  • Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda
    Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda

    The Philippine initiative to put the interests of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) front and center in global and regional trade has made significant progress following the conclusion on Thursday of the 2nd APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM2) and Related Meetings in Boracay, Aklan. Called “The Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs,” the Philippine proposal calls for a host of specific, concrete and practical interventions that APEC economies can implement to provide MSMEs wider …

  • Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week
    Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week

    The Philippines will join a 15-nation meeting in Bangkok, Thailand next week to address the migration crisis involving thousands of Rohingyas who escaped persecution in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima bared this yesterday after meeting with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) representative to the Philippines Bernard Kerblat. In an interview, De Lima said the Philippine government has been invited to the meeting. …

  • Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon
    Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon

    LEGAZPI CITY—A magnitude 4.2 earthquake hit Prieto Diaz town in Sorsogon before dawn yesterday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said. …

  • Drought-resistant rice breeds bared
    Drought-resistant rice breeds bared

    SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija – Amid the searing heat, the Philippine Rice Research Institute central experiment station here has identified nine rice breeds which have been proven to be drought-resistant and produce high yields in temperatures as high as 38°C based on a recent study. Thelma Padolina, lead researcher of the study titled “Screening of rice-induced mutants for heat and drought tolerance,” identified the breeding lines as the Ballatinaw lines, PSB Rc72H and Azucena lines. …

  • Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning
    Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning

    The United States military will continue air and sea patrols in international waters even after the Chinese navy repeatedly warned a US surveillance plane to leave the airspace over artificial islands China is creating in the disputed South China Sea. The Philippine government also declared it would continue activities in the region, calling on China to respect freedom of navigation and aviation. “Our position on the importance of letting freedom of navigation, freedom of aviation and …

  • MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned
    MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned

    Electricity and mobile phone services would be cut throughout Metro Manila, and all private and government offices and businesses, including shopping malls, would be closed. That would be the situation on July 16 between 3 and 8 p.m. to simulate the scenario of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has warned that an earthquake of that magnitude could occur and kill at least 33,500 people and injure at least 113,600 others following a …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options