After striking a strategic partnership with Chinese crowdsourcing translation platform 365 Fanyi (365 Translation) last April, Alibaba has gone a step further to fully acquire the company, utilizing it to remove language barriers for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) when participating in cross-border e-commerce business., the international business arm of Alibaba Group, lead the deal which mainly constitutes the acquisition of 365 Fanyi’s translator management system. In addition to, other international trading platforms under the group, like Tmall Global and AliExpress, are going to benefit from the acquisition.

The team of 365 Fanyi will now join Alibaba’s translation unit to construction a next-generation translation platform.

365 Fanyi was born out of a translation studio run by company’s co-founders, Sam Li and Liu Yu, in 2011. It specializes in providing online translation and interpretation services to domestic and foreign clients. Its biggest feature is bringing the traditional human translation process online through a crowd-sourcing model.

The startup’s translator management system automatically allocates tasks to translators with expertise in the related field. Meanwhile, translators will proofread each other’s works to guarantee the translation quality.

After uploading the original version of text on the company’s website, the system will generate the price for the work within mere seconds, which generally takes hours for a traditional translation company. Moreover, the service is available 7/24.

In addition to its own team of professional translators, the platform has tens of thousands of part-time English, German, French, Japanese, South Koreanand Russian translators. The company has received two rounds of financing from Zhen Fund and China Broadband Capital.

“A lot of the Chinese SMEs attempting to explore the cross-border e-commerce business have encountered language barriers as foreign trade has its own special demands for speedy and exact translation,” said Fu Bipeng, director of Alibaba’s Cross-border Business Department, referencing the value of the new investment.

This deal is expected to further boost Alibaba’s recent endeavours to rev up cross-border e-commerces in competition against a series of local rivals.

Image Credit: 365 Fanyi

Emma Lee (Li Xin) was TechNode's e-commerce and new retail reporter until June 2022, when she moved to Sixth Tone to cover technology and consumption. Get in touch with her via or Twitter.

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