B2B, business to business, was a popular concept in dot com era. The idea was to connect the companies (suppliers, OEM, vendors…) using B2B software. In those days, there are a few B2B software companies such as Commerce One flied high. But B2B never grew as big as people dreamed in the US. On the other hand, Alibaba, the China company connecting Chinese manufacturers with foreign buyers, was very successful. The bar raised again recently as more players joined the party. One of them, is the Ninetowns (NINE), the company provides software for importing and exporting in China. The following is I saw from Andy Yu’s blog (in Chinese, see below).
We all know in business especially foreign trade, trust is very important. Essentially TooToo is creating its own rank system for the Chinese exporters. They have the raw data when providing the software and services for Chinese companies, and the rank is based on those data. When foreign buyers see an exporter is certified by TooToo, or “China Qualified Supplier”, they can worry less about the quality etc. TooToo (Ninetowns) essentially is trying to create a credit report for the Chinese suppliers.
Disclosure: I own Ninetowns (NINE) ADRs.