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Alibaba Offers Waives To Merchants To Support Businesses During Coronavirus Outbreak

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Alibaba Group has unveiled plans to waive some of the fees it charges merchants to list products on its online mall. This will offer relief to retailers and brands grappling with a nationwide coronavirus outbreak.


The e-commerce giants have said it will stop charging certain platform fees for the first half of 2020 according to its official media website.


B2C marketplace Tmall will waive service fees for the first half of 2020. It will also offer free services to eligible merchants registered in Hubei, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.


Alibaba’s logistics arm, Cainiao, will offer two months of waived fees for warehouse rentals before the end of March 2020. Local-services platform Koubei will also waive commissions for merchants until the end of February 2020, or the end of March 2020 for Wuhan-based businesses.


Alibaba majorly earns from advertising, marketing, and advisory services for retailers on Taobao and Tmall. However, platform fees constitute a considerable chunk of its revenue.

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It will most likely not deal a major blow to Alibaba’s income as many big sellers on the platform already don’t pay such fees, according to David Dai, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Bernstein.


“Alibaba is more focused on helping the smaller sellers get through the hard times. The setback is limited, but Alibaba is not exempt from the downturn brought on by the virus outbreak,” Dai said.


Alibaba waives fees for merchants
Alibaba is using its ecosystem to relieve merchants during the coronavirus outbreak. Photo: Pymnts.


Alibaba expects to report a 36% growth in revenue in the last quarter of 2019. It also projects a 35% rise in the January-March 2020 period. The company is also spending heavily to expand non-core businesses from cloud computing to media and entertainment.


Analysts expect at least a 10% decline in net income in the last quarter of 2019. They also expect a 49% decline in the first quarter of 2020.


DingTalk’s “Work from Home” function, which allows up to 302 participants in video conferences and other business-related features, will be available at no cost to assist businesses with remote-working conditions. DingTalk is also a part of Alibaba’s ecosystem.


Alibaba Cloud and Alipay have also launched seven major benefits for developers, including cash offers and free cloud-computing resources.


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