Alibaba.com has announced the launch of a new product called "China TrustPass for Individuals" on its Chinese-language online marketplace.
Until now, Alibaba.com's China TrustPass membership had only been available to corporate users.
As with the corporate version, entrepreneurs need to pass a third-party authentication and verification process before they become a China TrustPass member. As part of this process applicants need to provide their identity card and bank information. Once they become an authorized China TrustPass member, Alibaba.com will maintain an online trust rating for individuals to help build confidence and credibility with potential buyers.
Alibaba.com launched its original China TrustPass scheme in 2002 and as of March 31, 2008 had more than 280,000 paying members. Alibaba.com's China marketplace has close to 25 million registered users and is growing at over 36% year-on-year.
"Starting up a new business and trading over the Internet has never been easier and more affordable for entrepreneurs," said David Wei, CEO of Alibaba.com. "Alibaba.com has always been a pioneer of trust and safety on the Internet and we believe that a reliable trust system for individuals as well as corporate e-commerce users is essential. China TrustPass for Individuals will help entrepreneurs build credibility and open up new business opportunities."
China TrustPass for Individuals was pre-launched on May 10, 2008 and has already signed up several thousand members.
Alibaba says that China TrustPass for Individuals will help more entrepreneurs in China launch and develop their business by significantly lowering the start-up costs and entry barriers to running an online storefront and finding potential buyers. With more than 42 million small and medium-size enterprises, China already has one of the world's biggest communities of entrepreneurs.