Alibaba will soon begin targeting U.S. consumers for the first time in a move that pits it against eBay.com, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Alibaba’s U.S. marketplace AliExpress offers users the ability to source product from international suppliers, but it is aimed at very small retailers and resellers, not consumers. The Journal was not specific about what Alibaba’s plans were, but quoted a spokesperson for Alibaba Group stating, “A large and growing number of consumers are interested in buying direct from China.”
In the years since 2006 when eBay failed to capture market share in the Chinese domestic market, it has been increasingly targeting the export market. It is helping Chinese sellers list on eBay.com and is opening fulfillment centers in the U.S. for them to store their goods in order to reduce shipping time to buyers in the United States. It currently takes an average of 18 days to deliver from China to the U.S., eBay told EcommerceBytes in June.