Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Back to the bFuture

I think that Seeking Alpha's bracketing of eFuture's new bFuture SaaS website with Alibaba is pushing things a bit. They are playing in different leagues. However, it's interesting all the same. eFuture's press release describes the project as a site "to connect retailers to their suppliers, enabling them to more efficiently and effectively share information and manage work processes".

Leaving split infinitives on one side, the company also announced that "Beijing Wangfujing Department Store (Group) Co. Ltd. , one of China's largest retail chains, has become the first client to adopt its bFuture online supply chain management platform". Seeking Alpha notes "Wangfujing Group has nearly 20,000 suppliers and all of them have come on as users".

My back to the bFuture heading hear refers to the fact that this sounds an awful lot like the sort of supply chain revolutions we heard about during the dotcom 1.0 era in the late 1990s. There's nothing to say that it won't work in China now and we'll keep a close watch on this one.

eFuture notes that it acquired 51% of Beijing bFuture Information Technology, Inc. back in November last year. It already ran the site which Seeking Alpha describes as "popular" despite, based on our checking, a rather lowly ranking. The Chinese name for that page is 中国网库 全球领先的零售服务前端的B2B电子商务平台. My trusty Babel Fish translator page comes up with "Front end Chinese net storehouse whole world leading retail sales service B2B electronic commerce platform" for that. Not the snappiest title, but I think you can get the picture.

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