HONG KONG: Alibaba, the Chinese web service specialising in facilitating business-to-business transactions between China and international markets, is seeking to expand its operations around the world, says chairman Jack Ma.

While Alibaba has focused on connecting Chinese firms with potential buyers abroad, the downturn has slowed interest from the US and Europe, compelling the site to focus on boosting domestic trade and encouraging companies to export to China.

In the longer term, the company may also be less "China-centred", and look to link enterprises in countries such as the US, India and Japan.

Says Ma: "Before this financial crisis, we were helping China's products abroad. Now we are thinking about helping small and medium-sized enterprises in other parts of the world.

"I believe in the next three years, China will be one of the world's largest buying markets. China needs to buy these things."
Alibaba also owns e-commerce portal Taobao and Yahoo China, while Alibaba.com is estimated to have earned revenues of 2.2 billion yuan ($321m; €243m; £219m) between January and September last year.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff