Alibaba debuts new tools, grant program for U.S. entrepreneurs

Alibaba Group is known for its position as a giant in China’s e-commerce market. And on Thursday, the company said it would do something to help smaller businesses in the United States improve the online operations.

The company said its Alibaba.com division is launching a series of new tools, and a grants program, to provide support for current small- and mid-sized e-commerce businesses. Or, what Alibaba (BABA) calls “New Digital Entrepreneurs”.

Among the new tools are what the company calls its Dropshipping Solutions, which gives businesses the ability to better reduce inventory and bring new products to the marketplace. The company also said its Alibaba.com app would be available on the Shopify app store and make it easier for adding new products to their retail stores.

Other new services include a virtual reality showroom on Alibaba.com, and live video chats and on-demand videos that let businesses communicate directly with suppliers about their products.

Alibaba also launching a $500,000 program in which entrepreneurs can apply for grants of up to $10,000 to fund their e-commerce business efforts.

Author: Rex Crum, Seeking Alpha

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