BEIJING, March 31 (Reuters) - A unit of Alibaba Group said on Tuesday it will spend up to 1 billion yuan ($146 million) over three years to promote its free Internet-based management software to Chinese small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Alisoft will provide the accounting and financial management software, named Shopkeeper, to help SMEs do business over the Internet, said the unit of Alibaba Group, China’s largest e-commerce group, in a statement.
Firms in the world’s third-largest economy, especially SMEs that rely heavily on export, have been struggling in the face of dried up overseas demand.
The listed arm of Alibaba 1688.HK said last week its latest quarterly net profit slid 35.4 percent from the previous quarter as it raised spending on marketing to counter deteriorating trade flows.[nPEK323396]
The software has already attracted over 135,000 users after a two-week trial run, according to the website of Alisoft, which was founded in 2007. ($=6.84 yuan) (Reporting by Michael Wei; Editing by Kirby Chien)