China’s Alibaba is preparing to dip its toes in the US e-commerce market for the first time

China’s Alibaba is preparing to dip its toes in the US e-commerce market for the first time

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is set to make its presence felt in the US by launching an online shopping site through its subsidiaries Vendio and Auctiva, as Reuters first confirmed.

The new US boutique e-commerce business, called 11 Main, is described as a “shopping destination where hand-picked shop owners connect with customers in a stylish and professionally merchandised marketplace.” Interestingly enough, the site also indicates that it will fund some special offers for sellers to attract new customers. It isn’t clear when 11 Main will open officially for business.

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11 Main was conceptualized, developed and will be operated by the two US firms, Vendio and Auctiva, which were acquired by Alibaba in 2010. Both companies are known for helping merchants sell their products on Amazon and eBay.

In a statement issued to TNW, an Alibaba spokeswoman says:

Alibaba is happy to support 11 Main. Alibaba is run by entrepreneurs and firmly believes in supporting entrepreneurs with great vision and a strong sense of mission for their companies.

Alibaba, China’s dominant online retailer, has been stepping up its efforts in the West. Most notably, the company led a $206 million investment round in US e-commerce logistics firm Shoprunner last year, and subsequently made a subtle but significant play for Western companies after it launched an English language microsite for Tmall, its B2C shopping site for brands.

Headline image via Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images

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