Alibaba is finding new and creative ways to crack the U.S. market.
The Chinese e-commerce giant said Tuesday that it's partnering with LendingClub to help small businesses in the U.S. finance their purchases on Alibaba.com.
While Alibaba is in no hurry to take on Amazon.com in the U.S. consumer e-commerce market, the Chinese site has proved to be an attractive place for American businesses to purchase bulk items such as blue jeans, makeup sets and computer equipment.
Businesses in need of short-term financing to buy those products had been using a Chinese bank that partnered with Alibaba. That capital will now come from LendingClub, a San Francisco-based online debt provider that got its start in the consumer credit market and is expanding to small businesses.
Loans of up to $300,000 will be available for terms of one to six months, with annualized interest rates ranging from 6 percent to 28.8 percent. LendingClub Chief Executive Officer Renaud Laplanche said the low end of the pricing range is half the rate that borrowers on Alibaba have seen to date.
"Their desire to provide better, more flexible financing with better terms is part of their expansion strategy in the U.S.," Laplanche said in an interview.