Alibaba and Lending Club tie-up for US business financing

Alibaba is partnering with peer-to-peer financing site Lending Club for a new financing ploy designed to encourage more US businesses to buy from the e-commerce giant’s marketplace.

The e-Credit Line will allow American companies to apply for small lines of credit – from $5,000 to $300,000 – to be used to make purchases on the site. For now, the programme is only available in the US, but will eventually expand into other markets, according to a TechCrunch report.

The new initiative also comes with a trade assurance, which allows buyers to open disputes and potentially get a refund if they receive goods late or that don’t match the listing description. The trade assurance also ranks suppliers based on the quality of their products and shipment speed, the report added.

The e-commerce company was challenged by China’s State Administration For Industry And Commerce last week, which said Alibaba did not do enough to prevent fake goods being sold on its site, even accusing the company of taking bribes to allow counterfeit products to be sold. The regulator’s report has since been withdrawn.

E-Credit Line is part of a push by Alibaba to secure new international customers. While Alibaba still dominates China’s e-commerce market, its growth has started to stall. The company announced last week that its earnings for the quarter ending in December were below expectations.

The company is also tackling the problem in China by developing its logistics system so it can target smaller cities and villages.


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