Alibaba.com launched Alisoft, a business software company aimed at China’s small and midsize businesses (SMBs), on Monday.
The company will initially offer five types of software: CRM, inventory management, sales force management, financial tools and marketing information management, it said.
Of China’s more than 40 million SMBs, fewer than 10 percent have adopted advanced software systems, unlike their counterparts in more developed markets, where approximately 60 percent use back-end management and CRM systems, the company said.
The new company is currently offering its software services for free, but will start charging for some of the services during the first half of 2007, it said. It did not specify a date or price.
Alisoft will take over the Alibaba Group’s messaging and communication tools, both business to business (B2B) and consumer to consumer (C-to-C), which will be merged under the name “Ali Wang Wang.” In Mandarin Chinese, “Wang” means “king” and “net” or “network,” but is also the Chinese way of expressing the sound of a dog’s bark.
Alibaba.com is China’s most popular B2B e-commerce site. Alibaba also operates Taobao, the country’s most popular C-to-C auction site. The company is based in the Zhejiang province city of Hangzhou.
-Steven Schwankert, IDG News Service (Beijing Bureau)
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