Business / Companies

Alibaba to merge online flea market and auction businesses

By MENG JING ( Updated: 2016-05-18 19:44

E-commerce conglomerate Alibaba Group announced on Wednesday to merge its online flea market and online auction business together, aiming to create the largest sharing economy platform in the country.

The company said in its headquarters in Hangzhou city of Zhejiang province that both of the businesses are community-based services with high interaction between users. The merger would help the company test the waters in various sectors, including online auctions for second-hand cars.

"The merger of the two businesses is not a simple addition but a multiplication. For us, it is time for the community-based sharing economy platform to take off," said Zhang Jianfeng, chief technology officer of Alibaba.

Alibaba's online flea market named Xianyu is a dedicated platform for people to sell their used goods. The mobile app has more than 100 million registered users; the value of transactions on the platform grew 15-fold from January 2015 through March 2016, according to a recent report from the company.

Alibaba's online auction business, launched in 2012, has successfully brought many things, including overseas islands and castles, under the hammer.

The company said that it has started to invite some of the users on Xianyu to test the online auction feature. More users are expected to try it out soon.

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