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Do Chinese factories always sell through Alibaba?

Do all factories in China sell their products on Alibaba? This question from a Quora user has piqued our interest, so today we will delve into discussing this matter.

China is the world's largest factory.
China exports a large amount of industrial manufactured goods to the world

China is a populous country with abundant resources, so it is undeniable that there are numerous factories in China. Although there are a huge variety of factories, there is a vast difference in terms of scale and strength among them.

So, definitely not all factories sell their products on Alibaba.

Studying from the perspective of the factory:

  1. Small and micro enterprises, which are particularly small in scale (with fewer than 20 employees), are very common in China. These factories generally lack the ability to do business with foreigners on Alibaba. After all, Alibaba is targeting the global market. It has a relatively high threshold for communicating and negotiating with foreign customers to reach trade agreements. In addition, small factories lack the relevant qualifications and talents for order fulfillment. Therefore, factories that can sell products on Alibaba generally have certain power.

  2. Large and medium-sized factories, especially those with a huge scale and strong capabilities, will not sell their products on Alibaba. Factories with strong capabilities generally have their own comprehensive overseas distribution networks, so they do not need to rely on Alibaba's platform to complete sales.

  3. There are some special factories that, due to extremely strict cooperation agreements with their clients, cannot publicly sell the produced goods to other customers. This type of factory also exists in China, and because China has been known as the world's factory for the past 20 years, the number of such factories is definitely significant.

Studying from Alibaba's perspective:

Alibaba platform is a paid B2B trading platform, and they charge fees to the factories and sellers who join in at various stages.

  • For sellers, the lowest cost is an annual fee of 29,800 yuan, which needs to be paid once every 12 months. If you don't pay, your store will disappear from the platform.

  • Then there is the premium membership, such as the gold membership, which will increase the price to nearly 80,000 yuan per year.

  • Transaction fees are charged for the transaction process. Although the amount is not particularly high, it is not free either. The fee is levied based on each order, with the majority of orders being charged around $150 or even higher (there are many different calculation schemes in the system, which will not be further elaborated here).

  • In addition, it is necessary to pay extra fees to showcase one's store on the platform. This is a common advertising promotion fee in e-commerce platforms. The investment varies according to the actual situation of the factory. On average, our techTongBo spends nearly 30,000 RMB per month on store advertising expenses.

Alibaba is a for-profit private company. Factories open stores on this platform, and all customer information and transaction data will be controlled by Alibaba. This is unacceptable for large factories because they prefer to have control over this data themselves rather than easily letting others access it. So many strong factories will build their own official websites so that potential customers can find them through search engines.

In addition to Alibaba, China also has B2B platforms like "Made in China" and "Global Resources". They compete with each other, so some factories open stores on their competitors' platforms to sell products.

So based on this information, you can understand that it is not possible for all Chinese factories to sell their products on Alibaba, but you can find suitable suppliers most conveniently on Alibaba.

We, techTongBo, are a relatively small-scale Chinese factory. We have obtained overseas customers through Alibaba and Made in China. At the same time, we have also established our own official website. In order to acquire overseas customers, we are continuously enhancing our exposure opportunities on the global internet. Our series of initiatives can also represent many Chinese factories.


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