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Alibaba launches online platform SMILE for Indian SMEs

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Indicating the importance it attaches to the Indian market, Chinese e-commerce titan Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, which operates wholesale trading platform Alibaba.com, has launched an online platform, SMILE, exclusively for Indian small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

SMILE, which stands for Small and Medium Industries Leveraging Export, will provide Indian SMEs access to global business trading counterparts as well as one-stop trading solutions including financing, logistics (domestic and cross-border), inspections and certifications, technology and SME trade-linked education, a company statement said.

Alibaba has partnered with ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Crisil Rating, Tally, Capital Float, Jeena, SGS and Mypacco for the platform.

The platform aims to connect Indian manufacturers with Chinese suppliers on Alibaba.com, provide Indian sellers the trading support through SMILE platform, and facilitate the global sales of Indian products through Alibaba.com.

According to Alibaba.com, more than 4.5 million Indian SMEs are listed on its platform.

SMILE platform will provide new products and services leveraging the strength and capabilities of the SMEs, such as facilitating access of Indian merchants with good trading record based on their previous logistics and trading history, to local credit line providers.

“We are excited to team up with credible and capable local Indian enterprises to offer this SMILE program, helping SMEs from India expand their business footprint in an efficient way,” said Timothy Leung, head of global business development, Alibaba.com. “With resources from different enterprises which excel in their own fields, our B2B e-ecosystem can benefit more than 10 million SMEs in India.”

“Our efforts also showcase our commitment to government programmes including “Make in India” and “Digital India” and share the common goal of supporting Indian SMEs grow their business,” he added.

Alibaba Group’s second-quarter revenue jumped 32 per cent, driven mainly by its mobile platform. Revenue for the July-September period rose to 22,171 million yuan, or $3.49 billion, from 16,829 million yuan a year earlier, the NYSE-listed company said in a statement. Mobile revenue soared 183 per cent from a year earlier to $1.65 billion.

One97 Communications Ltd, which runs mobile wallet and e-commerce venture Paytm, had raised an undisclosed amount in a fresh round of funding from NYSE-listed Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and existing investor Ant Financial.

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