Exploring the Differences Between 1688 and Alibaba: Which Platform Suits You?

In the vast world of e-commerce, 1688 and Alibaba have become the choices of many people. Have you ever used these two e-commerce platforms to shop? Are you deciding between these two platforms which one to choose to place an order? Do you understand their differences? Make the wrong choice and it could directly impact your business. Next, let’s explore their differences.


1688 vs Alibaba

1688.com is often called the Alibaba of China. It is part of Alibaba Group but mainly caters to the domestic Chinese market. Alibaba, on the other hand, is geared towards international buyers and suppliers, and it focuses on international trade.




Target market

Mainly China


Language interface

Mainly Chinese

SOME English Multi-language (English, Spanish, etc.)

Trade Focus

China Domestic Trade

Global International Trade

Product range

Emphasis on procurement within China

Diverse varieties to meet global demand


Lower prices often available

Prices may vary by supplier

Payment methods


Various international methods


Mainly B2B B2B



Chinese proficiency may be required

Easier for international users

Order quantity

Small orders are more flexible

Common for larger orders


Domestic Logistics

International Shipping

Targeted market
1688: 1688.com is a Chinese platform and its main language is Chinese. For sellers and buyers in China. This makes it ideal for businesses targeting the Chinese market or looking to source products locally. If you want to shop in China, then 1688 is for you.
Alibaba: Alibaba is a global trading platform. Suppliers and manufacturers from all over the world can connect here. If you are not in China but want to buy goods from China and have them shipped to your home country, Alibaba is a great option.

Minimum order quantity
1688: 1688 supports smaller order purchases because it is mainly shipped within China.
Alibaba: Alibaba requires a larger order volume to purchase.

transportation and logistics
1688: 1688 mainly serves domestic customers, and international logistics may not be able to be arranged.
Alibaba: Alibaba targets global buyers and is very experienced in international logistics.

All in all, if you are an international buyer, Alibaba may be more convenient. However, in summary, Alibaba also has many restrictions. For example, its prices may not be as cheap as those on 1688, and it only accepts larger orders.

Have you ever thought about buying on 1688 and shipping it back to your country? This has certain difficulties. For example, 1688 only supports Chinese software payment, and the platform is mainly displayed in Chinese, which may cause language barriers for international users. . Its international shipping is more difficult. Next, let’s take a look at how to buy from 1688.

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How to order from 1688?


If you can’t understand Chinese, you need to translate 1688.com into English first

2.Find products

Search for the product you need to buy on 1688.com. There are different ways to find the products you need on 1688.
    Search for keywords: This is the most common method. Using this method, you’d better use translation software to translate the items you want into Chinese and search for them. Mainly, more products will pop up.
    Image search:You can upload pictures of the products you need on 1688 for search.
    Product list: You can view the product list and segment it step by step into the products you need based on its requirements

3. Choose the product that suits you best
Choose a few merchants that you are satisfied with among all the products that pop up, and remember to compare prices, quality, etc.

4. Communicate with merchants
Communicate details with multiple merchants, such as how much order quantity you need. Merchants on 1688.com will require you to communicate in Chinese. This may cause some trouble.

5. Payment
On the 1688 platform, they only support Chinese software payments. But if you negotiate with the merchant, you can choose the appropriate method to pay the merchant outside the platform.

Looking for a 1688 agent

Are the above steps a bit complicated or difficult for you? The easiest way to buy at 1688 is to find an agent. Let them act as an intermediary between you and the seller, and they can handle all the processes, such as providing services such as sourcing, quality inspection, consolidation, and international shipping.

To find a reliable agent, you just need to choose the product, explain all your needs to the agent and they will do everything for you. Are you looking for a 1688 agent? Click to contact twinswin to serve you.

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