Alimama, the online advertising solution under Alibaba Group, expects to see a 60% year-on-year increase in revenue cuts for partners, possibly reaching 5 billion yuan (US$800 mn), by the end of this year. (in Chinese).

At the end of 2012, Alibaba restructured its in-site and cross-platform search and display advertising services and rename the combined brand as Alimama. The new Alimama includes Tanx — a real-time display advertising platform, Taobao Mobile Union — an app-targeted mobile ad network, and Taobao Union, a Google AdSense-like in-site search and cross-Web contextual ad service.

A program called Silk Road was released later for third-party partners to better monetize traffic on their sites by building customized sub-sites or search services — like a Google AdSense service tailored to specific customers. Digital media or services such as Kingsoft, Sogou, Funshion and Maxthon were invited to be the first customers of the Silk Road program. It will be open to more partners after after May 1st, according to Alimama.

More services such as Tao Dian Jin, an online marketing tool, and Ru Yi Tou, an automated ad posting service, will be released later this year.

Alibaba has become a big player in in-site search marketing and cross-Web contextual advertising — just like what Baidu does as a search service, for Alibaba sites are first destinations for Chinese users to search for goods sold online and users can see contextual ads powered by Alimama on a majority of Chinese-language websites. In fiscal year 2012 the group made US$4.08 billion, most of which is believed to be from those online marketing offerings since Alibaba doesn’ t charge retailers directly and revenues from extra services like store design sales are minor.

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at

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