Alibaba’s AliExpress, Tmall International and the international division of Taobao, reportedly will merge into one marketplace, targeting individual consumers overseas (via Sina Tech).

Alibaba as an online marketplace, actually, started from international business-to-business (B2B) trades. But it turned out that Taobao, the online customer-to-customer (C2C) marketplace, and then Tmall, the B2C version of Taobao, exploded in domestic market. Five years after it got listed in Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Alibaba’s B2B business delisted in mid-2012.

AliExpress was once of Alibaba B2B but decided to transform into a retailing platform this year, for increasingly more purchasers from outside China were individual customers instead of businesses. In 2012 AliExpress began introducing local Taobao retailers onto its platform to sell goods directly to overseas customers. Now the number of Taobao retailers on it is bigger than the traditional wholesaling sellers.

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

What you get

Full access to all premium content and our full archives

Members'-only newsletters

Preferential access and discounts to all TechNode events

Direct access to the TechNode newsroom

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

Tracey Xiang

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