Alibaba.com has said it is investing aggressively beyond its China home base — and apparently some of those efforts involve a big marketing campaign in the United States. The business to business e-commerce giant is launching a $30 million advertising campaign for its international marketplace starting Monday, according to a report in the WSJ. It is also tripling the size of its staff in the U.S.
The expansion comes as Alibaba.com’s net income dropped by more than 15 percent last quarter, a fall which it attributed in part to its “global marketing campaign to drive even greater worldwide buyer awareness.” The company has said that, while costly, the efforts are important strategically in the long-run. It’s also planning to spend between $200 and $300 million on acquisitions through 2012.
Alibaba.com has warned that the robust growth it has seen in the ranks of its users and paying members “could temper later in 2009.” A build up in the United States could offset that since Americans currently make up only about 15 percent of the visitors to its international marketplace, according to numbers the company supplied to the WSJ.
It also brings the company closer to the home turf of Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO), which owns a 44 percent stake in Alibaba Group. Alibaba Group — which operates Yahoo China and owns a controlling stake in Alibaba.com — was notably left out of Yahoo’s recent ad partnership with Microsoft.