Thursday, May 31, 2007

Choosing partners

A couple of interesting pieces catch our eye today and give rise to thoughts about the different partnering options which are emerging in B2B online. China Economic Net talks about Alibaba's tie-up with China Commercial Bank. The deal, it notes, means that "a green passage will be opened on, allowing quality customers to apply bank loans and financing projects through the website. And the credit score of domestic e-commerce enterprises on the website will become one of the bases for their loans in CCB".

We have to assume that the likes of D&B will be looking very carefully at the emergence of credit ratings acceptable to banks from non-traditional sources such as Alibaba.

Meanwhile, over in India, reports on the Uttar Pradesh Post Office becoming an e-commerce provider. "Goods can be ordered online, by money order or directly from post offices", it says, adding "More at the Times of India". On the topic of partnering, what caught our eye was the comment that "The post office is open to tie-ups with private vendors. They’ve also tied up with Varanasi’s Kashi Vishwanath temple to allow devotees to order vibhuti packages for Rs. 60".

The post office may not be everybody's favourite institution in many countries. However, the ubiquity of its branches and use in many countries of post office savings banks as the primary financial institution in remote and under-developed areas makes it potentially a very valuable business partner.

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