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Why Alibaba Gave Up On U.S. Consumers

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Alibaba is China's largest e-commerce platform. In its latest earnings report, Alibaba disclosed having 636 million annual active consumers on its China retail marketplaces. That's almost double the entire population of the United States. Alibaba's reach today expands far beyond e-commerce. Its realm now covers cloud computing (Alibaba Cloud), digital media and entertainment, (Youku, Alibaba Pictures, Damai, Alibaba Music, Alisports.com) and logistics services (Cainiao). Alibaba is also part owner of financial services company Ant Financial. Despite its enormous Chinese following, Alibaba is still not a well known brand to many Americans. Watch the above video to find out why Alibaba hasn't won over U.S. consumers and how it has focused on attracting U.S. businesses. » Subscribe to CNBC: http://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC About CNBC: From 'Wall Street' to 'Main Street' to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more. Connect with CNBC News Online Get the latest news: http://www.cnbc.com/ Follow CNBC on LinkedIn: https://cnb.cx/LinkedInCNBC Follow CNBC News on Facebook: http://cnb.cx/LikeCNBC Follow CNBC News on Twitter: http://cnb.cx/FollowCNBC Follow CNBC News on Google+: http://cnb.cx/PlusCNBC Follow CNBC News on Instagram: http://cnb.cx/InstagramCNBC #CNBC #Alibaba Why Alibaba Gave Up On U.S. Consumers
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Text Comments (1581)
CNBC (1 month ago)
Do you think Alibaba will try winning U.S. consumers again in the future?
zvxcvxcz (7 days ago)
+luso1994 Actually, in Uber's case it may be because of Uber's lack of influence over Chinese politicians rather than because of China's political influence over its markets and businesses (literally every functioning government on Earth has that).
Osama Walrus (12 days ago)
no because i just bough a cpu from them and it takes over a month to get here
tk421missing (19 days ago)
More likely the entire world financial system will collapse since it based upon a hot potato ponzi scheme credit scam of having liars and thieves loot, consume and destroy what honest people sacrificed generations to create. The thieves, Romans, Greeks and Germanic IndoEuropeans destroyed European civilization. Everything will go again. You will all weep for what you consumed and destroyed but it won't save anything. China will burn too. There will be no place to hide from the storm.
working2Bselfsufficient (22 days ago)
Some people in USA use Alibaba. I use it for cheap things I'm not in a hurry for. Also sometimes custom made especially for business items. I usually shop USA owned because I feel you should help your locals first but when I need something that doesn't really affect the USA negatively I use it. I don't care for the communication issues sometimes and long waits for shipping but if not in a rush works out fine.
kstart2006 (23 days ago)
Americans seem quite simple minded that the world revolves around them. Good article on "US-Centric views" but missing again global views. The "go big or go home" mentality and coverage is worrisome. Although some Chinese firms had that intention (ie replicate global dominance in the commercial sphere, via a single brand) they got smart about it. They are targeting other markets through the "localized globalization". They are major shareholders of Lazada which dominate most of South East Asia (Access to 600million potential consumers). They took a major stake in Tokopedia, which is the leader in Indonesia (200+ million population) I know CNBC needs to sell to American viewers, but keep them informed globally. Its better for you and your viewers in the long-run.
Tricky850 (3 hours ago)
maybe its because alibaba is a ripoff of an American company
Adeles Toy Reviews (5 hours ago)
now you have Chinese accounts on ebay spoofed ip to show they are located in the states and sell alibaba products for %200 mark up
Soseki (7 hours ago)
Alibaba failed in my opinion because of their company name. Sure you could say we're cautious of anything from the middle east, but honestly it sounds like a potential scam website. I've seen hackers use the name Alibaba when posting spam so Alibaba, as a company name to me, just seems sketchy.
F Harrison (12 hours ago)
This news got the basic concept wrong. Alibaba is not giving up US consumers, it is giving up US sellers that would export to China due to politically reasons. Alibaba is a B2B platform, just so you know, all those stuff you see on eBay and Amazon, they were ordered on aliexpress and then price markup 2-20 times, so they are not giving up consumers....
ip desperado (1 day ago)
one thing alibaba is good for is for incubators in relatively remote areas. for instance, if you have an idea and want to make prototypes in your garage, you can go through alibaba to find anything, or even customize parts for you.
ip desperado (2 days ago)
it is utterly not true that alibaba not going after american market. there is a huge, invisible firewall called "national security" in the usa. it covers every aspect of american life and easily applies to every inch of american market. with that firewall, you don't need evidence, just need some sort of imagination even hallucination to make an accusation, that would stop any business deals legitimately.
mj e (2 days ago)
Would never ever use Alibaba
Miguel Leon (2 days ago)
Trump is not for the America consumer
A B (2 days ago)
The thing about Chinese products is that it's usually fake. I hate ordering a PlayStation Controller just to find out it's a flimsy controller w a Sony sticker slapped on it. If I could filter Chinese sellers out, I'd he happy. American Chinese is fine. Just not the Chinese who is located in China w a warehouse full of crappy goods.
boxlessthinking (2 days ago)
they should give this guy a tax break for selling American products in China.
Awang Budiman (3 days ago)
I prefer Ali Baba Bujang Lapok.
P P (16 hours ago)
Awang Budiman ...open sesame?
عفيف موقع الاحمد (4 days ago)
Tianmen Square, Xi Jinping looks like Winnie The Pooh
LazyGamerX (5 days ago)
Not a fan of Ali, if I want cheap Chinese nock off stuff it's cheaper on ebay and it's American owned so if I need a refund its geared towards the customer. Don't feel like Ali would put the American customer first and would favor their Asian sellers.
Tom Chaude (6 days ago)
Wait why did Alibaba tried to enter the market under 11 Main, and not existing names like I dunno, TaoBao, Lazada or Aliexpress?
Tom Chaude (6 days ago)
Do check out PAL Network if you see this!
Lilf Gaming (6 days ago)
It doesnt help that alibaba was a nightmare to use.
S Ash (7 days ago)
Trump is the best. A true businessman that cares about this country’s success
hep the great (10 days ago)
What would I sell to chinese? Baby formula? ( actually that is a good idea)
conexos2007 (11 days ago)
Asia is already the biggest market and second is Russia, and alibaba already dominated the best markets, USA is not one of them.
Kyle Laughinghouse (8 days ago)
Look at population of china and russia would explain that also americans buy quality over cost
Henry Lopez (11 days ago)
Idk, maybe cause they sell counterfeits
Walker T (12 days ago)
2:53 i thought Trump is going to force kiss on Jack. Trump x Jack. Thank god Trump did not call Jack, Jack Baba or Jack Ali
Liu Ke (6 days ago)
Tim Apple lol
Elisa Han (15 days ago)
It may be cheaper than amazon, but the long wait times are a dealbreaker. Especially with customs issues and lags, I’d much rather order from amazon and pay a little more to get it to my door, and potentially avoid stuff getting lost in the mail. I once had a package travel all the way to Turkey once instead of the US....
0218 L (16 days ago)
Poor logistic system. If you place an order from urban area in China, you will receive your items in 24 hours. I am talkimg about among different cities.
Menstrel (16 days ago)
The reporter Dierdre Sosa sounds like a shill.
Arnold Matthews (16 days ago)
Alibaba benefits off amazon and vice-versa
John Smith (17 days ago)
*After seeing what happened to Huawei, I would have do the same exactly the same too.*
Mathy Don (17 days ago)
3:44 Gollum?
Innovator International (18 days ago)
America knows. We just don't trust their product.
unboxing theboxx (18 days ago)
I LOVE ALIBABA
Zion Josh (20 days ago)
Answer easy US MARKET IS TOO SMALL TO CHINA
Benedek Tóth (21 days ago)
They didn't gave up on the European customers... I constantly have the most random ads from them on my social media platforms, like supercars custom spoilers, guitars with 17 strings, strange mini-robots for cats etc.
ch282 (21 days ago)
alibaba seems so derpy to U.S. consumers
Boi!!! (22 days ago)
Because China no.1
nimay13 (22 days ago)
I wouldn't buy from Alibaba/express, Jack Ma already rich.
John Mason (22 days ago)
Americans are also sick of cheap chinese made goods. We are trending towards higher quality American made goods we have to pay a little more for but won't break in a month or stright out of the box.
If you want money, Then give me even more money (22 days ago)
you get what you pay for; nationality isn't a determinant quality.
Steven Bedrosian (23 days ago)
Deirdre is so beautiful
Ryan lex (23 days ago)
Alibaba can't beat amazon yo😂😂
LeeROBD (23 days ago)
Alibaba needs to change its name in US and it will be successful.
Chris Reynolds (20 days ago)
Who cares what you call a site? If it takes 2 months to get my stuff I won't order from it.
Jason Ramsey (24 days ago)
The Anti-China sentiments and racism is the reason why. Racist Americans rather buy the same item at 5x the price from a white guy
Sponge Bob (24 days ago)
America is already over saturated with Amazon and Mexican Street Vendors selling Sombreros
PressPause 2Play (24 days ago)
I'm confused. Majority of thecshit that Americans sell are originated from china....so how does this work???
Mlogan11 (19 hours ago)
User interface for Amazon/Ebay easier for Americans than via Alibaba. It's not just the products, but the platform as well.
Jorge Falette (26 days ago)
Probably because 60% of their products are false advertising or fake knockoffs (not even real knockoffs) and the other 40% break a week after purchase. They need a serious quality control system or something.
SaltyBrains (22 days ago)
you don't know what you are talking about, in most cases it is the SAME stuff, same products, same manufacturer, that you find on eBay and Amazon - the only difference is someone else has already imported them and selling them locally with a high markup and shorter postage time.
alex Lo (26 days ago)
If you are buyer outside US, It wisely to buy from Ali because whether you buy from Ebay or Amazon They will order from China send to you but at higher price(American profit rate). So I always use Ali.
n/a n/a (26 days ago)
never heard of 11main.
Wesley Dunphy (27 days ago)
their name is too 9 11 ish
Us Man (27 days ago)
Yea....the lack of friendly chinese-american relations Is the cause of Alibaba shutting down its operations in America and not the fact that its American company was failing miserably. Absurd. Ppl like jack ma would follow a dollar to hell
Steven Ratti (27 days ago)
Alibaba is vastly larger than Amazon, and yet in much of the extra-Asian market, Amazon has crushed Alibaba. Crazy, but true- and they haven't done it because they are the best at what they do- they've done it by ignoring the fact that there is competition, and much of the world has gone along.
Intel LTR45 (27 days ago)
Chinese Middle Class is non existent. That is a very poor nation. Extremely poor. Broke.
n/a n/a (26 days ago)
Bigger than the entire US population put together and growing.
Intel LTR45 (27 days ago)
They should be banned in the USA.
William Traylor (27 days ago)
Yall look at all the Chinese bots in the comments
ali agudelo (28 days ago)
@CNBC You should research Ali Express. It is marketing self-starting business on which people buy from the website and resell it in theirs. Ali express sells the Templates for online stores and people buy domains and merchandise to resell online. A BIG example is Soulja Boiis Consoles and Website, its the Ali express Idea if he did not buy their template. It is the new Way of Pyramid Scheming. So I am pretty sure it did make it in the USA. if you really want to check to try clicking one of the Ads on Facebook or Instagram, take the name of the product and Go on Aliexpress.com and search the item. 9 times out of10 you will find it there for Cents. If this is the case then that person it's using the Ali Express package. Its so Easy that most stores online could follow this model and people will prob buy it in other websites thinking its that website xD Alibaba did you real good.
Uma Chan (28 days ago)
The biggest problem with Alibaba is that you're literally taking a chance every single time you order from them. Either you don't get what you wanted, the product isn't as advertised or you send your money and you never get anything in return.
nhanpro gaming (29 days ago)
basically it china ebay
john hand (29 days ago)
Next How my left ball failed my right ball
the boi (29 days ago)
Good, keep them out.
King Daniel (29 days ago)
American business have this fantasy that you will make a lot of money from China. Even after a long line of failures you are still dreaming this nonsense. You will never make money from China, China requires you to partner with a local chinese in the executive board. Your are to not make a profit from china and transfer all corporate secrets to china for intellectual theft. Stupid americans, have you ever wonder why there is an exact copy of your company new startup once you arrived?
hyou zan ren (30 days ago)
Amazon, eBay buy from Alibaba then sell its goods in their own site!
Rara Zap (30 days ago)
Philippines 🇵🇭!!!
H C (30 days ago)
I could have told you Alibaba wouldn’t do well in the US/Canada/Europe. Alibaba sells cheap and fake products and Americans don’t what that. They also don’t want 30+ day shipping, just to find out what they ordered was garbage. Alibaba sucks.
ajay nair (30 days ago)
Alibaba and all Chinese tech companies have their fortunes linked with Chinese economy and the blessings of the CCP. Once the favour from CCP stops these tech companies will vanish. The smart ones have moved out and diversified.
K Y (30 days ago)
It’s not such complicated,they don’t understand the USA
Tyler gunn (1 month ago)
Alibaba sells counterfeit merchandise.
Ghandi Y (1 month ago)
Lots of scammer look legit in Alibaba.
basti vargas (17 days ago)
Because you are an American and know nothing of the world. Everybody buys from alibaba, except the us. Keep up with American products hahaha
Danny Tillotson (29 days ago)
Yeah it's a mine field
Ramona Uter (1 month ago)
So we see the makings of a new civil war. In the United States. Foreign powers convince the most profitable industries in America to break away from the government. The government, of course, has to wage war to reign them in. Here we go again.🐉🌏🏦⛩️🗽🏯🚛✈️🔎📽️💰⚖️⚔️🔫
loszhor (1 month ago)
NOTE: I am speaking on Alibaba and I have not used AliExpress. Plus this was years ago and I figure the services must have improved by then. I never used it widely because the service wasn't very good. I especially didn't like the hassles I had to go through just to get the pricing on items and the shipping was way too expensive unless I wanted to buy in very large bulk amounts.
WalkinNowhere (1 month ago)
That's kind of the point of alibaba, bulk wholesale and since we're talking about China, bulk has a whole other meaning. Aliexpress is the one that's closer to Amazon and eBay in philosophy and practices..
No Thoughts Barred (1 month ago)
China's economy is essentially self sustaining due to the population size, I don't think Alibaba is in any rush to enter the US.
No Thoughts Barred (27 days ago)
+Intel LTR45 The ghost cities are likely being built to accommodate future population growth.
No Thoughts Barred (27 days ago)
+Intel LTR45 Very poor? It's the second largest economy in the world. Yes, the wealth isn't divided equally, that's just the Capitalist way. And Americans don't even have socialized healthcare, and have a massive homeless problem, so I'm not sure what their standards of poor are meant to be. I thank God every day that I wasn't born in America.
Intel LTR45 (27 days ago)
Not really. China is a very poor nation. They really have about 10 million in the middle class. And the rest are poor by American standards. They have ghost cities in most of China.
Lance Winslow (1 month ago)
Nonsense - The middle class in China is considered something like $3300-6300 per year income. So, let's get real when talking about China's middle class.
underscore2002 (1 month ago)
I am Chinese, and I know how Alibaba system works, Chinese consumer is very price sensitive, that's the reason why it works very well in China by selling cheap craps. But overall the quality is very bad, Chinese consumer wouldn't care much about the quality as long as the price is cheap. While Europe and American consumer have a very different mindset where quality have a heavier weight than price. Amazon "made in China" product is actually 0.1% of the Alibaba product which is good in quality design to sell overseas.
Z (1 month ago)
... Jack Ma.. looks like that guy, William Hung that tried out for American Idol....
japrogramer (1 month ago)
I gave up on Alibaba because that damn shipping time .. Fing 2 months for a headphone pair .. ain't nobody got time for that.
Kyle Sexe (1 month ago)
How do they not mention AliExpress.. It is litterally AliBaba's USA app and is VERY successful. Most businesses selling on Shopify are using AliExpress items.. There's a direct dropshipping hookup available (Oberlo).. Terrible video.
thomas seven (1 month ago)
Halfwit trump.
Elaine Anderson (1 month ago)
Alot of rich/wealthy Americans are learning Chinese and Mandarin.
Elaine Anderson (1 month ago)
I heard about this company in the early 2000s.
Door-to-Door Hentai Salesman (1 month ago)
I hope so, Amazon needs a competitor. A company that has monopoly will become a turd.
Ariaditya Pramestu (1 month ago)
2:46 how does it feel to be standing next to a real self made billionaire, donald?
Iam From (1 month ago)
Getting something delivered from CHINA takes for ever. Also i have ordered 4 things from them. 3 fails right out of the box and then good luck getting customer service from them and paying more shipping costs then the item is worth to get refunded or replacements. Thats why it sucks and will never use it ever again.
Heng Yang Tang (1 month ago)
Hey smart guy, India is not part of Southeast Asia
Burton L (1 month ago)
It didn't work because Americans are too politically correct and the name "Alibaba" is considered cultural appropriation.
james conor (1 month ago)
because Americans are racist and always discouraging their consumer from using foreign products and services. but they want other people from other countries to keep consuming and using their products and services. this is not healthy seriously
Zekar Salih (1 month ago)
wait a sec.. antfinancial? the logo and name ring bells.. looks like ANTSHARES A.K.A. NEO blockchain
Legendary King (1 month ago)
she not bad looking would bang
JJ Grey (1 month ago)
This is a good thing...no entity from China should do well here...They are still run by that pack of dogs that won't hunt, The Communist Party...Failure Failure Failure
Цыпа Цыпочка (1 month ago)
Woman speaking is a a shemale with huge Adam's apple.
Manchu Ratt (1 month ago)
It will never be successful in the US. Americans want retailers not direct contact with manufacturers. Alibaba will obviously try again. US is 5% world population and about 50% worlds money. Lets be real it could make more money from 40 million Americans than from 700 million Chinese. And the Chinese are godawful at naming. Names like "11 Main" will never gain traction here.
RizzaRy (1 month ago)
They are more or less descriptive of Google
R V (1 month ago)
Office Depot and Alibaba
Dale Maggio (1 month ago)
AB had nothing here. Warehouses were in China and Europe. All purchases had to go through shipping delays, customs, etc. That's why I gave up on them.
Kris S (1 month ago)
Alibaba has a HUGE fraud problem with most retailers selling fake goods and "seconds" from factories. Despite that, Alibaba refuses to take the problem seriously or clamp down
smonkey001 (1 month ago)
In case you guys don't know. Jack Ma got forced retirement by the China government. Basically it's China government running Alibaba now. Jack Ma got bashed because of invading China banking space with market dominating online money transaction app Alipay. Thinks twice when you want to do business in China.
basil al sadi (1 month ago)
We're simply tired of having to wait weeks to months for almost anything ordered off their site. That's all. You guys, they have everything. But the wait is the problem. Understandably, customs don't make it easy.
MrPickledede (1 month ago)
their Market in China that it's so huge because the government blocks every other website except Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves thank you for the Chinese propaganda China Network Broadcasting Corporation
MrPickledede (1 month ago)
Baba and the Forty Thieves Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
Wayne C (1 month ago)
It is pretty easy to get dominant position in China with the Great Fire Wall in China which bans access to a fair and free internet. The firewall of China is one of the greatest non-tariff trade barrier.
G C (1 month ago)
Lol. Look at Skype, eBay, Amazon. They still exist. It just not many people want to use them. They did a bad job in localizing their business
Beastune (1 month ago)
To be fair, eBay and Amazon still exist in China and have never been blocked by GFW.
Re Up (1 month ago)
Plus it's difficult for foreign companies to enter and sell to China in the tech and entertainment sectors. They only allow companies in who want to provide manufacturing jobs, but if you're tech then good luck you'll be out in a few years and lose your IP in the process.
Skull Fucker (1 month ago)
i question usa has around 330 million and china has around 1.4 billion in population why are there so many comparing their economy and saying china is going to beat usa economy etc to me it sounds given that china will eventualy do this they are more than 3 times the size so this comparing is not accurate i think the media is full of garbage as usual right CNBC?
Al Tay (1 month ago)
We do not want Alibaba stay in China where you belong any money this company makes I'm sure 50% of it goes to the Chinese military I don't want to support that
miguel (1 month ago)
chinese companies just cant compete in a real free market they can't rely on the communist party favoritism to boost them up
B Babbich (1 month ago)
Yup. China kicks out all American businesses, copy US tech companies, pay their factory workers next to nothing, grow their domestic companies, try to enter the US market, then complain about the US getting mad about it.
ste vie (1 month ago)
I always thought ALIBABA was some sort of scam website!
Arief Rakhman (1 month ago)
I get many Alibaba ads recently.. about two or three times a week,
Buck Cerin (1 month ago)
I've already had problems purchasing defective counterfeit Chinese goods through Amazon. Chinese goods need to made to meet American standards for the American market, why go all the way to maximize problems with Alibaba?