Chinese exporters might have found a way around using Taobao and Alibaba to ship overseas. The management committee of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone and Shanghai Information Investment have respectively signed a memorandum of cooperation with Amazon.com aimed at cross-border e-commerce development and delivery. Shanghai’s cross-border trading e-commerce pilot platform formally started operation at the end of 2013.
Alibaba vs Amazon? It’s tough to compare the two e-commerce companies given that each company subscribes to different business model. But that didn’t stop the guys at Smart Intern China to create an infographic comparing the two giants. Infographic aside, it is perhaps important to note that Amazon and Alibaba each adopts different e-commerce models. Amazon follows the B2C model which purchases stock and maintains its own warehouse and logistics. Whereas Alibaba follows the C2C and B2B2C models (like Taobao and Tmall) which are open platforms and marketplaces.
BEIJING – Alibaba Group Holding Ltd IPO-BABA.N said on Friday it will open a fifth data centre in Shenzhen to service AliCloud, the latest sign of its growing investment in the small but potentially lucrative cloud computing business. Established in 2009, AliCloud posted US$38 million (S$47.46 million) in revenue during the quarter ending June, a relatively small slice of Alibaba’s US$2.54 billion in total revenue for the quarter, according to Alibaba’s financial disclosures filed ahead of its imminent initial public offering in New York.
Alibaba’s international site reached a deal with the Thai bank Kasikornbank which will help Kasikornbank introduce its small- and medium-sized enterprise customer resources to Alibaba’s international site and increase the export business opportunities of Thai products. Thai enterprises will be able to apply to become Alibaba’s verified member or gold supplier via Kasikornbank, which will bring various exclusive benefits and services to these small businesses.
Youku (NYSE:YOKU), which claims it’s still China’s top video streaming site despite growing competition from half a dozen rivals, reached 500 million monthly unique visitors for the first time, the company said today in its Q2 2014 earnings report. The half billion figure represents viewers across the Youku and Tudou sites across all screens, from desktop to mobile to smart TVs.
At this point, it looks like the IPO roadshow featuring Alibaba founder Jack Ma will begin on Sept. 3. The company’s seven investment banks and five outside law firms expect the song-and-dance routine for institutional investors to start in Asia, then head to Europe, and end up playing to packed investor houses all across United States. Alibaba IPOThen, the company should debut on the New York Stock Exchange in mid-September.
[BANGALORE] Snapchat Inc’s financing talks with China’s Alibaba Group Holding are over, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The developer of a popular app that allows users to send messages that disappear after a few seconds was reportedly in talks last week with investors, including Alibaba, for financing that could value the company at US$10 billion.
In the China market, B2C online shopping web portals generated total transactions of CNY320.47 billion (US$51.49 billion) during second-quarter 2014, growing 23.7% sequentially and 72.4% on year, according to Analysys International.
Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, has a growing cloud computing business and a hunger for American companies. And soon, it will most likely have a large amount of cash. Will it take on the American cloud giants? It would be an amazing change from the way cloud computing seems to be developing. Public cloud computing is the rental of infrastructure, like raw computing power and online data storage, and sophisticated applications. It is a multibillion-dollar business, expected to grow much bigger, and is currently led by Amazon Web Services, or AWS; Google; and Microsoft Azure. IBM and others also have designs on the market.
Even though its founder pledged to avoid online gaming because his son developed an online game addiction, Alibaba has now launched its own cloud gaming platform. Cloud gaming at Alibaba aims to merge game interaction and data operation on cloud servers and transmit the real-time pictures back to the TV screens of users. With this new service, users will be able to play games via Internet TV and high-speed broadband without downloading games.
Chinese ecommerce titan Alibaba is making yet another investment in an American company by pouring US$120 million in funding into Kabam, a developer of online and mobile games. The Wall Street Journal, which first reported this, says it also involves a deal for Alibaba to distribute Kabam’s games in China to users of its Taobao marketplace and Laiwang messaging app. The move signals Alibaba’s intent to challenge WeChat more strongly by incorporating social gaming into Laiwang, which has been struggling to gain traction.
Chinese home appliances group Midea is expecting a huge jump in its 2014 earnings. The company published its semi-annual performance prediction for 2014, stating that during the first six months of 2014, the company’s net profit is expected to increase by between 45% and 60% over the same period of last year; its earnings will reach between CNY6.059 billion and CNY6.686 billion; and its earnings per share will be about CNY1.44 to CNY1.59.
Ecommerce titan Alibaba has a new social network. It’s a sort of Instagram that’s based around tagging brand names that appear in your photos. Rather than making it a standalone app, Alibaba’s newest effort, called Fun, is built into its Tmall shopping app and is rolling out to users in an update for iOS and Android. Tmall is an online marketplace for large vendors and major brands.
Ecommerce titan Alibaba took a 28 percent stake in Autonavi nearly a year ago. And then in February this year the firm proposed a full buy-out of Autonavi for a premium of US$21 per share. (UPDATE on July 16: Autonavi shareholders today voted in favor of the deal. The merger will be finalized later this month and then Autonavi will delist from NASDAQ). Today Autonavi confirmed it has accepted the deal for that acquisition price, pending the approval of shareholders. Autonavi closed trading yesterday at $20 per share. For shareholders it’s a large premium over the $16.54 value per share when it was first proposed in February.
Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank empire has been getting a lot attention in recent months, with a US$20 million splash of venture funding for the Phillipines, the debut of Pepper, the family friendly robot, and, the impending financial windfall from Alibaba’s IPO. Today, at the SoftBank World 2014 event, Alibaba’s founder and executive chairman, Jack Ma, talked about Alibaba’s business philosophy and the coming shift of Customer to Business (C2B) corporate strategies.
Alibaba Group’s cloud computing subsidiary Aliyun and Inspur Group have formally reached a strategic cooperation to jointly explore smart city and administration cloud markets, provide comprehensive cloud computing solutions to various industries, and build an independent and controllable cloud service ecosystem. As representative enterprises and rivals in the Chinese cloud computing industry, Inspur Group and Aliyun will team to create a complete cloud service ecosystem, further accelerate the development of the industry, and establish a Chinese cloud service market structure with domestic companies as its core.
Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba’s premiere mutual fund savings product Yuebao turned one year old this week, and announced it now holds RMB 574 billion (US$92 billion) in assets. That makes it the fourth-largest money market fund in the world, according to the company’s official blog. That’s pretty impressive, but those assets are growing at a much slower clip now than they were in the first quarter of this year. This is due to a variety of reasons.
China’s e-commerce behemoth Alibaba has established a new department, which is responsible for the integration of businesses involving the mobile browser, search, and gaming services. This department will take care of the mergers that Alibaba is looking to make with other companies that exist in the mobile space. The first such company is UCWeb, which is a prominent mobile Internet browser company. By teaming with UCWeb, Alibaba is expected to further solidify its growing dominance of the mobile space.
Chinese ecommerce leader Alibaba last night updated its SEC prospectus, revealing, among other things, details about last week’s acquisition of mobile browser maker UCWeb. The deal, which Alibaba proclaimed to be the biggest in Chinese internet history and bigger than Baidu’s US$1.9 billion acquisition of 91 Wireless, cost Alibaba US$479 million in cash and 12.3 million company shares for the remaining one-third of UCWeb.
Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma continued his company’s pre-IPO bachelor party today by signing a deal with China Post to deliver online purchases to anywhere in China within 24 hours, according to ShanghaiDaily. China Post is the country’s biggest postal service, and has offices pretty much everywhere, including rural areas. The two companies are also looking into making international deliveries via China Post’s global network.