This Week in Imaging: Office Depot-Alibaba Partnership May Mean Supplies Trouble for OEMs
Among the big news this week was Office Depot’s announcement of a partnership with Chinese B2B ecommerce giant Alibaba.
In a nutshell, the deal will likely make it easy for Office Depot’s U.S. customers – said to number about 10 million – to access and buy from Alibaba’s ecommerce site and its 150,000 suppliers.
That may be a big concern for printer and copier OEMs, as Alibaba’s clients sells hundreds of knock-off toner and ink cartridges on the Alibaba ecommerce site, as well as used and new copiers and parts. In other words, as Amazon made it easy for thousands of Chinese vendors to sell to Americans, Office Depot could be also making it much easier for Chinese vendors to sell printer and copier consumables to Americans.
Currently, Alibaba sells very little outside of China, getting less than 9 percent of its revenue from international commerce. The Office Depot deal could change that in a big way.
This Week in Imaging