Alibaba, China's largest business-to-business e-commerce site, plans to go global in the next few years, the South China Morning Post reported, citing Porter Erisman, vice-president of international marketing and business development. Erisman said the company raised its sights following its US$1 billion merger with Yahoo China in October last year and planned to triple the size of its overseas staff within a year or two in order to prepare for expansion. The firm, which was founded by chief executive Jack Ma in 1999, employs about 4,300 people, including 40 in Hong Kong and 10 in foreign centers. Its Chinese-language B2B site, which is exclusively for domestic trade, has 13 million members. Its international site, which is in English and focused on import-export dealings, has 2.3 million members in 200 countries. Alibaba collected more than US$100 million in revenue last year and expected to make more than US$200 million this year, much of it from subscription services on its B2B site. Besides the B2B site, Alibaba also runs Taobao, the largest online auction site in China.
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