China’s Opens Up Shop In London

Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba is opening a London office from which to mount a European assault. The European HQ has 14 staff and has launched a $30m advertising campaign, including branding 500 London cabs and TV spots here, reports.

The 10-year-old, publicly traded business-to-business e-commerce marketplace, 39 percent-owned by Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO), connects software, technology and services suppliers with small- and medium-sized businesses. Though we’re in a recession, it’s thought IT is one area companies can save money on, so Alibaba could be well placed in Europe, if its brand can travel.

Alibaba’s Europe GM Maggie Choo tells she already has 400,000 registered UK users, is adding 2,000 new ones each week, the user base is 55 percent up from last year and international revenue rose 22.5 percent to $84.2 million last year, making 60 percent of all revenue.