Friday, March 25, 2011

Messe Düsseldorf partners in Indonesia

News this week: Messe Düsseldorf Asia has announced plans to partner with local organiser, PT Wahana Kemalaniaga for three concurrent exhibitions. INDOPLAS, INDOPACK and INDOPRINT, held biennially, will take place from 11th to 14th April 2012 at the Jakarta International Expo. Messe Düsseldorf Asia will take a leading role in organising the three events which will serve Indonesia’s plastics, packaging and printing industries.

This is the latest addition to Messe Düsseldorf Asia’s portfolio of trade shows in the ASEAN region which already includes M-PLAS, TIPREX and PACK PRINT INTERNATIONAL in Thailand and Plastics & Rubber Vietnam.

Messe Düsseldorf officials were quoted, “The collaboration will allow the further development, expansion and internationalization of these trade fairs to reflect Indonesia’s evolutionary path driven by a growing economy and increasing consumerism.”

Alibaba to expand loans business

News this week: Hangzhou-based e-commerce company, Alibaba Group, plans to expand its small-loans business this month partnering with two more financial institutions, the China Construction Bank (CCB) and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). AliLoan, the company’s loans division, has facilitated loans worth US$4.1 billion as of the end of January this year and AliLoan is seeking agreements with 15 other commercial banks including the Bank of China (BOC) and the Agricultural Bank of China. A pilot project has already been carried out with the BOC in Zhejiang province.

The China Daily reports that over 90% of Alibaba’s e-commerce clients are located in the provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Fujian and Guangdong as well as Beijing and Shanghai, where Alibaba and CCB have been partnering to provide small-loans.

More events postponed at in Japan

News this week: Two weeks after Japan’s deadly earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident, Tokyo Big Sight announced plans to shelter 3,000 refugees from affected areas in response to widespread civilian displacements. Exhibition World reports that although there was no structural damage to the venue, an indefinite period of postponement for scheduled events will be in place due to the ongoing crisis.

Tad Ishizumi, president of Reed Exhibitions Japan and chairman of the Japanese Exhibition Association (JEXA), was quoted in the article stating that he hopes Tokyo’s exhibition industry will return to normalcy in two to three weeks time. Reed was forced to cancel two seminars scheduled on 14th and 15th March.

Another event at Tokyo Big Sight now postponed, the Wine and Gourmet Japan 2011 was originally scheduled to take place from 6th to 8th April. The organiser, Koelnmesse, will not hold a 2011 edition of the event, but the organiser plans to bring the event back in early 2012 with details to be announced at a later date.

HC International net income jumps 76%

News this week: Hong Kong-listed HC International has released its results for the year ended 31st December 2010. Revenues were US$59 million, an increase of 23% compared with results in 2009. Net income for the year was US$1.3 million, an increase of 76% over 2009.

The Beijing-based company’s online services, its largest business segment, generated US$25 million or 42% of total revenues representing 31% year-on-year growth. The trade catalogues and yellow page directories business generated revenues of US$15 million or 26% of the total. That figure is a decrease of 12% compared to 2009.

HC’s domestically-focused online sourcing platform, Mai-Mai-Tong, reportedly has a base of about 12 million registered users as of 31st December 2010. That is a year-on-year increase of 20%, up from 10 million in 2009.

Source: HC announcement

TTG revenues up 17%

News this week: Hong Kong-listed has announced its financial results for the year ended 31st December. Its subsidiary TTG, a B2B media group serving the travel trade in Asia, posted a revenue increase of 17% over results in 2009. Revenues were US$10 million in 2010 compared with US$8.6 million in 2009. TTG’s revenues now account for 74% of’s overall revenues. The remaining 26% are primarily generated by’s “portal” business. The TTG business remains solidly profitable, net income from’s travel media business rose 26% from US$1.51 million in 2009 to US$1.9 million last year.

Company management also highlighted in its annual report that TTG successfully organised four events last year – the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) in Brunei, Incentive Travel & Conventions, Meetings China (IT&CM) in Shanghai, Gifts and Stationary Show in Singapore, and Incentive Travel & Conventions, Meetings Asia (IT&CMA) in Bangkok.

Source: Hong Kong Stock Exchange announcement

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Alibaba and Global Sources: competing less and less

Looking through the recent earnings releases of both Global Sources and, it is clear that these two companies are continuing to compete less and less for the same suppliers.

Global Sources and have been going in separate strategic directions for some time, but the key metrics in 2010 confirm that fact.

In 2010, Global Sources generated US$93.9 million in online revenues - that is about 50% of total revenues (US$194 million). The other 50% was generated by its exhibitions business (US$69.5 million), print (US$25.8 million) and miscellaneous (US$4.9 million).

Of’s online revenues were approximately US$780 million. Total revenues were US$846 million. The remaining US$65 million were not from operations.

If we make some rough, back of the envelope calculations: Global Sources posted US$94 million in online revenues. If we estimate that the average supplier paid RMB 40,000 (US$6,000) in 2010 to post its products online. That results in approximately 15,700 paid suppliers on the Global platform. had nearly 810,000 paid suppliers in 2010 – but that figure includes suppliers on both the International and the China platform. If we just look at the International platform,, there were almost 132,000 paid suppliers.

Even if there were perfect overlap, which there is not, that would mean that just 12% of’s suppliers were also on Global Sources. reports that there were 132,000 paid suppliers on its International website which generated revenues of US$494 million. That results in an average of US$3,740 (RMB 24,500) per supplier.

So has 132,000 suppliers paying RMB 24,500. Global has 16,000 paying RMB 40,000. In all likelihood, these two companies are not going after the same suppliers.

Alibaba is trying to build an SME ecosystem through its subsidiaries,,, AliExpress and AliLoan. Global Sources is targeting larger, more established exporters who are interested in its multi-media platform (exhibitions, online, print, private buyer events).

With each passing quarter, it is clear that these two companies are not exactly knocking on the same doors across China. And arguably, doesn't knock on doors at all, but that is another story...