Chinese e-commerce website Alibaba.com says this week it opened an office in Taipei, its fourth office outside mainland China.

"The launch of our Taipei office signifies our strong commitment to invest more resources to develop the Taiwan market and help local SMEs with global trade," said David Wei, CEO of Alibaba.com. "Alibaba.com can provide Taiwan's 220,000 export orientated SMEs with the right tools to connect with a huge pool of active international buyers and increase their competitiveness. In order to enhance our reach in Taiwan, we are also open to local partnerships in Taiwan in the future."

The new Taipei office will be able to better serve its 40,000 local members and enable more small and medium-size enterprises in Taiwan to grow their business through e-commerce. The Taipei office will provide local customer service, marketing and sales support, as well as conducting offline education and training for its Taiwan customers. Currently, Alibaba.com has about 2,000 paying members in Taiwan.

In 2007, there were over 1.2 million SMEs in Taiwan, accounting for around 98% of all enterprises and more than 220,000 of them are engaged in export related businesses, said Alibaba's statement on the office opening. Alibaba.com recently launched its Gold Supplier membership package in Taiwan. This paid service enables suppliers to gain more exposure to buyers on Alibaba.com's international marketplace by providing them with a premium storefront, priority placement in search results and high quality customer service.

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