AliExpress, a B2B wholesaling service under Alibaba Group, announced to change its role to an online retailing platform targeting at individual consumers outside China.

AliExpress was first released in late 2009 as a wholesale platform for outside businesses to purchase small volume orders from Chinese sellers. But till now 65% of buyers are individuals. “More and more individuals want to buy good value-for-money goods from China. Given this context, AliExpress sped up the transformation”, according to Shen Difan, head of AliExpress (source in Chinese).

AliExpress began channeling Taobao sellers onto the platform from 2012. It is said the monthly transactions in December 2012 were more than that of the whole year in 2010, and the sales in January 2013 increased 420% year-over-year.

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com