Business Wire

WorldFirst’s 1688 Global Sourcing Integration Sees Adoption Surge as SME Buyers Seek Competitive Edges


WorldFirst, a one-stop global payment and financial services platform for SMEs engaged in cross-border trade, reported that international SME buyers have increasingly adopted the WorldFirst Cross-border Pay solution for 1688, one of China's top wholesale marketplaces, as SMEs worldwide seek cost-effective sourcing options to stay competitive.

During the first eight months of 2023, turnover generated by WorldFirst SME customers which sourced from 1688’s vast product marketplace through Cross-border Pay increased by over 50% to more than 22 billion yuan, or 3.03 billion US dollars. The number of new SMEs who signed up for the solution rose nearly 20%. Stationaries, petting products, gardening supplies, toys, and storage containers were among the most popular goods for these international buyers.

“We understand the immense potential that lies in helping SMEs to compete on a global scale," said Daniel Chua, Head of Commercial for Southeast Asia, WorldFirst. "By integrating with 1688, we aim to help businesses of all sizes to efficiently source products from one of the world's largest wholesale markets, regardless of their location. This integration underscores our commitment to helping SMEs thrive globally."

With the explosive growth of e-commerce, SMEs have increasingly turned to platforms like 1688 for diverse sourcing options. However, navigating the complexities of international payments and currency exchanges has historically posed challenges for these businesses. As an official payment partner with 1688, WorldFirst collaborated with the marketplace to jointly launch Cross-border Pay in 2019, aiming to address these pain points and streamline the way SMEs access and transact with suppliers on 1688.

WorldFirst Cross-border Pay offers international buyers an option to make payments to 1688 sellers without the need to set up an onshore bank account in China. The buyers will also benefit from highly competitive foreign exchange rates, as inbound payment is settled at the offshore yuan rate.

Cross-border Pay usage also increased in Southeast Asian markets where the solution is available. During the first eight months, Cross-border Pay turnover, or transaction volume, by buyers from Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand grew 21%, 11%, and 11%, respectively, from the same period a year earlier. The number of new Cross-border Pay customers from Singapore more than doubled and that from Malaysia surged 69% on year.

Since its launch in 2019, Cross-border Pay has experienced consistent year-on-year growth in annual turnover. “This shows a global payment solution designed to continuously assists SMEs in saving costs and time in international trade is a crucial need of businesses today. And we plan to roll out Cross-border Pay to more markets to help SMEs stay competitive, expand their product offerings, and ultimately drive growth,” said Chua.

Cross-border Pay is currently available primarily in Southeast Asia, Australia, and other Asia Pacific markets. WorldFirst, a member of Ant Group, plans to introduce the solution to the United Kingdom and continental European markets in the coming months.

With 19 years’ experience in facilitating cross-border payments, WorldFirst has consistently strived to offer ground-breaking solutions that help SMEs grow globally. At the 2023 INCLUSION·Conference on the Bund, held from Thursday to Saturday in Shanghai, China, WorldFirst unveiled a set of upgraded features. Notably, the latest enhancements will allow China-based sellers to effortlessly set up a store on over 30 overseas marketplaces through a single application.

Launched in 1999, 1688 is China’s largest integrated domestic wholesale marketplace in 2021 by net revenue, according to Analysys. It provides sourcing and online transaction services by connecting manufacturers and wholesale sellers to wholesale buyers in China. In recent years, 1688, a business of Alibaba Group, has attracted a growing number of cross-border buyers to access its vast array of products. According to 1688, there are 5.7 million cross-border buyers, contributing to a quarter of its annual GMV.

About WorldFirst

WorldFirst was founded in 2004 and joined Ant Group in 2019. Through the World Account, WorldFirst is meeting the needs of SMEs engaged in international trade or business, both online via marketplaces or websites, as well as offline to support importers and exporters. This includes global collection (receiving payments), making payments, currency conversion, risk management, and supply chain financing to help WorldFirst customers reduce costs, improve turnover efficiency to generate more revenue and sales, and quickly capture global business opportunities. WorldFirst serves one million customers worldwide and is connected to over 100 marketplaces. To learn more about WorldFirst at

To view this piece of content from, please give your consent at the top of this page.

Contact information

Martin Mou

About Business Wire

Business Wire
Business Wire
24 Martin Lane
EC4R 0DR London

+44 20 7626 1982

(c) 2018 Business Wire, Inc., All rights reserved.

Business Wire, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is the global leader in multiplatform press release distribution.

Subscribe to releases from Business Wire

Subscribe to all the latest releases from Business Wire by registering your e-mail address below. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Latest releases from Business Wire

Pogust Goodhead and Gramercy Funds Management LLC Announce $552.5 Million Investment Partnership1.10.2023 15:13:00 CEST | Press release

Pogust Goodhead, a global law firm, and Gramercy Funds Management LLC (“Gramercy”), today announced that they have entered into a $552.5 million investment partnership in the form of a secured loan by Gramercy to Pogust Goodhead. This loan is the largest of its kind in a U.K. based law firm. The loan transaction strengthens the firm’s financial power, ensuring Pogust Goodhead has ample funds to continue its litigation across the world and on behalf of environmental victims of corporate giants such as: BHP Group (BHP.AX), BMW (BMWG.DE), Fiat Chrysler (STLAM.MI), Ford (F), Honda (7267.T), Hyundai (005380.KS), Jaguar/Land Rover (JLR), Mazda (7261.T), Mercedes-Benz (MBGn.DE), Peugeot/Citroen (PEUG.PA), Renault Nissan (RENA.PA), Toyota (7203.T), Vauxhall (STLAM.MI), Volkswagen AG (VOWG.DE), and Volvo AB (VOLVb.ST). The loan proceeds will fund the largest action of its kind against two of the biggest mining companies in the world – BHP Group (BHP.AX) and Vale (VALE3.SA) – for their part in t

PUMA Called Ambassadors From All Around the World to Form “Class of 23”1.10.2023 12:00:00 CEST | Press release

Global sports company PUMA launches a beanies campaign, “Class of 23”, to unite ambassadors from across the globe to represent of the close-knit PUMA family. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: Global sports company PUMA launches a beanies campaign, “Class of 23”, to unite ambassadors from across the globe to represent of the close-knit PUMA family. (Photo: Business Wire) 2023 means a long journey for PUMA, which was made with the remarkable people behind it. ​“Class of 23” is the right way to celebrate the inspiring ambassadors and talents PUMA has collaborated with over the past 75 years. Each talent, from Neymar Jr. and Pamela Reif to Gianmarco Tamberi and Winnie Harlow, was captured in a personalized way, wearing their favorite PUMA beanies from the 2023 collection to show their membership in the grand PUMA family. “Our PUMA family is the heartbeat of our brand, co-created with the brilliance

Optomind and MaxLinear announce collaboration on PAM4 112Gbps OSFP 800Gbps SR8 transceiver solution at ECOC Exhibition 20231.10.2023 08:00:00 CEST | Press release

Optomind and MaxLinear will be demonstrating 800Gbps OSFP active optical cables (AOC) and SR8 optical transceivers at ECOC 2023 Exhibition, in Glasgow, Scotland, October 2-4 (Booth #775, Optomind; #776, MaxLinear). Optomind has developed the best-in-class PAM4 100Gbps/lane SR optical transceivers and AOCs using MaxLinear's 5nm Keystone PAM4 DSP. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: Advancing data transmission rates to 100Gbps per lane drastically transforms the ecosystem of data centers, especially AI/ML and HPC. Training AI and GPT workloads drive huge and high-density networks utilizing large numbers of servers connected together through rack switches over short reach links. The low-power, high-performance AOCs and transceivers that Optomind and MaxLinear have developed together are ideal for these applications. Optomind selected MaxLinear's 5nm Keystone PAM4 DSP as the best-in-class solution for

Incyte to Present Multiple Studies from Dermatology Portfolio at 2023 European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress29.9.2023 19:43:00 CEST | Press release

Incyte (Nasdaq:INCY) today announced multiple abstracts featuring new data from across its dermatology portfolio have been accepted for presentation at the upcoming European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress 2023 held October 11-14 in Berlin. “We are pleased to add to the data supporting the use of ruxolitinib cream for patients living with vitiligo and atopic dermatitis (AD) through two late-breaking presentations – one on prolonged use of treatment in vitiligo patients with limited or no initial response, and the full results of our TRuE-AD3 trial in pediatric AD,” said Jim Lee, M.D., Ph.D., Group Vice President, Inflammation & Autoimmunity, Incyte. “Collectively, the data at this year's Congress, which also include new late-breaking data for povorcitinib in vitiligo, emphasize our ongoing efforts to advance treatment options for the Dermatology community." Key abstracts from Incyte-sponsored programs include: Late-breaking Oral Presentations Vitiligo Efficacy an

Q4 Inc. Recognized as one of Canada’s Top Growing Companies by The Globe and Mail29.9.2023 16:30:00 CEST | Press release

Q4 Inc. (TSX: QFOR) (“Q4” or “the Company”), the leading capital markets access platform, is pleased to announce their ranking on the 2023 Report on Business of Canada’s Top Growing Companies. Canada’s Top Growing Companies ranks Canadian companies on three-year revenue growth. Q4 earned its spot with three-year growth of 150%. “We are honored to be recognized as one of Canada’s Top Growing Companies for the fourth consecutive year by The Globe and Mail,” remarked Darrell Heaps, Founder and CEO of Q4. “We are proud of the growth we have achieved as a company and this recognition is a true reflection of our dedication to helping our clients win in the capital markets through innovative technology on the Q4 Platform.” Canada’s Top Growing Companies is an editorial ranking that was launched in 2019. It aims to bring the accomplishments of innovative businesses in Canada to the forefront. In order to qualify for this voluntary program; companies had to complete an in-depth application proc