Alibaba Express, Ali Express or Alibaba? We explain the differences
Both websites, Alibaba and AliExpress are owned by the Alibaba Group that is based in Hangzhou, China. Many users confuse AliExpress with Alibaba, and in some cases refer to the service as "Alibaba Express", which can be amusing sometimes.
Here are the differences of AliExpress and Alibaba, no need to call them for Alibaba Express anymore:
The main difference of both companies is that they cater to two different types of users.
Alibaba is a B2B (business to business) shopping portal to connect overseas buyers with Chinese manufactures and sellers. Most orders are negotiated and confirmed via email since the quantities are much larger in most cases.
AliExpress is a B2C (business to consumer) platform, very much like Amazon or eBay. Aliexpress connects Chinese companies and retailers to overseas buyers. Most orders are set on a fixed price, however, Aliexpress incentives and subsidizes many sellers in order to drive prices down. Many users confuse AliExpress with Alibaba and refer to it as Alibaba Express or name it "Ali Express", but truly mean AliExpress in many instances. AliExpress is also sometimes referred as "Ali-Express", "AliExpres" or "Ali".
Below a chart that explains the relationship between Aliexpress and Alibaba as well as some other international players in that space.
If you don't have a AliExpress account you can open your account on the AliExpress site for free here.