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Can U.S. Businesses Benefit from Alibaba?

Now the world’s largest online business-to-business (B2B) commerce platform, Alibaba is well established in the Asian market and has done incredibly well with its initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange. The trading platform was originally designed to help small businesses in the Chinese market, but U.S.-based entrepreneurs now wonder if they can also benefit from Alibaba. With more than 7.3 million providers from across the globe, Alibaba promises unprecedented access to a myriad of wholesale goods.

In addition to serving as a powerful trading platform for B2B sales, Alibaba also runs a successful consumer-to-consumer shopping platform in China called Taobao. The site is designed to offer wholesale products to individual consumers and offers many features comparable to eBay. While Taobao may not be on the radar of American consumers yet, it’s English-language counterpart, Aliexpress, has become increasingly popular with U.S.-based buyers.

Can U.S. Businesses Benefit from Alibaba?

American business leaders keeping a watch on Alibaba’s success are now contemplating if the popular platform could be a boon for U.S.-based businesses too. Alibaba CEO Jack Ma has said that the platform can provide an excellent entry point for small businesses in the U.S. that want to expand operations to the Chinese market. For many of these businesses, finding the resources to enter the Chinese market has been prohibitive up to this point.

However, much like Amazon, Alibaba can provide a powerful way for small business owners to connect with the larger B2B market. Goods and products made in America that are not readily available in China can be difficult or impossible for Chinese buyers to source even when demand for such goods is high. Businesses that hop aboard Alibaba can help alleviate these market gaps by making their products readily accessible to Chinese businesses without incurring travel expenses.

Skeptics wonder how Alibaba can provide opportunities for American businesses, which will need to find their own means for shipping goods overseas. While Jack Ma hasn’t provided detailed plans for how Alibaba will compete with Amazon and similar sites on the U.S. market, it’s clear that no American company can match Alibaba’s size or power when it comes to connecting wholesale businesses from around the world. Shipping challenges might seem like a problem for now, but they’re likely to be small change in the long term.

WordPress Releases version 4.0 “Benny”

WordPress 4.0 “Benny” has been released, spearheaded by Helen Hou-Sandí and contributed to by 275 other individuals. This newest release got its name of “Benny” thanks to the popular clarinet-playing jazz bandleader Benny Goodman, and it can now be downloaded in the WordPress dashboard. Benny’s numerous improvements give you a more effortless and pleasurable experience in your writing.

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You can now explore your media with unparalleled enjoyment brought to you by a limitless grid. Detail previewing allows for editing to be a breeze, which you’ll simply love, because the formatting tools stay readily available and the editor broadens to fit your content.

Embedding links is smooth and simple. It’s as easy as cutting and pasting your YouTube link on a line, and it becomes an embedded video. You’ll get a sneak peak of your video, which means you can be sure you’ve got the right link and can breathe a sigh of relief, dropping the concern that you may have missed a letter or symbol. With WordPress 4.0 Benny, you’ll be able to see it right away. There are lots more services that are now backed automatically as well, so you can also embed links from Twitter, CollegeHumor and TED, among others.

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With over 30,000 free and open source plugins available through WordPress, Benny has added improvements to streamline your search, using metrics and a more visual experience in a blogging format so you can pick out exactly what you’re looking for.

Overall the improved editing, the effortless embedding and simplified search make WordPress 4.0 Benny a welcome update for an enhanced writing experience.