Saturday 16 Feb 2019

Alibaba Misconceptions

People unfamiliar with tend to have some common misconceptions about the site. Here’s a brief rundown. is not the Chinese eBay is not the Chinese eBay. It’s a B2B Internet sourcing platform, where suppliers can offer products and services to potential customers. The site is intended primarily for transactions between businesses, rather than between individuals.

Also, brand-name merchandise – such as Apple iPhones – cannot be sold through without express authorization of the brand-name company. You can still find plenty of consumer products on the site, but they’ll mostly likely be generic consumer products, as opposed to brand-name consumer products.

Taobao,’s sister site, is the real “Chinese eBay”. That site is targeted towards individuals and does feature brand-name merchandise. Suppliers are not All Chinese

It’s true most suppliers on are from China. But a significant number are also from other places such as India, Europe, and the United States. When you search for suppliers on the site, you can filter out the results according to geographic location.

You Don’t Have to Know Chinese

You don’t have to know Chinese to use Knowing Chinese might be helpful when dealing with Chinese suppliers. But even there, it’s not absolutely necessary.

English is the official international language of Most suppliers on the site can speak and write English. Most buyers on the site use English to communicate with their suppliers.


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