Alibaba, Salesforce Partner to Provide CRM Solutions in China

News that Alibaba will collaborate with the American cloud-based CRM company followed rival Baidu's announcement of launching its own CRM service.

Author: Belinda Zhou   

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) and Inc. (NYSE: CRM), a California provider of tools for customer relationship management (CRM), have joined forces to bring the service to China.

The San Francisco-based software company said in a statement this week that the Chinese tech giant Alibaba will become the only provider of Salesforce to customers in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Alibaba will be the exclusive provider of Salesforce as its only enterprise CRM product suite that includes sales cloud, service cloud, commerce cloud and salesforce platform

"At Salesforce, customer success is at the center of everything we do. And, more and more of our multinational customers are asking us to support them wherever they do business around the world," Salesforce said in its announcement.

"We look forward to developing this partnership with Alibaba as we continue to drive success for companies around the world," Salesforce added.

In March, at the Alibaba Cloud Summit in Beijing, the conglomerate said it goes by the principle of "doing no SaaS but helping everyone to do better SaaS."

"Alibaba's core competence is to make the cloud of IT infrastructure, the internet of core technologies, and the data and intelligence of applications. Therefore, we decided to hand over SaaS to partners in all walks," Jianfeng Zhang, the president of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, said at the summit.

The Chinese e-commerce giant helps its customers transform the way they market, sell, and operate mainly through Alibaba Cloud and Tmall. 

Separately, on Wednesday, Chinese search giant Baidu Inc. (Nasdaq: BIDU) announced the launch of Epan CRM - an open platform to provide enterprise services. "Baidu has an advantage in this regard because of a large amount of user data and user needs, which is the key to the CRM platform," Taoyuan Cheng, the director of research and development, said.

Shares in Alibaba were trading at $177.70 per American depositary share intraday Thursday, down about 1 percent.