Case study


Alibaba E-Commerce Strategy and Issues In 2013, retail sales made through mobile devices in the United States increased by 188 percent to roughly $65

billion. Mobile-commerce (m-commerce) is expected to climb at an even faster rate in the developing world, as increasingly available mobile phones

provide cheaper, more afford- able Internet access to those who cannot afford PCs and wired Internet access. In China, for exam- ple, to remain

competitive, the e-commerce giants must target m-commerce. Go online and research the m-commerce strategy of Alibaba and its major competitor Tencent.

What can you find out about their plans? Are these plans accessible and transparent enough for investors to make sound decisions?


Given Alibaba’s venture into online payment systems and cloud services, Chinese banks have lobbied their government to limit Alibaba’s conquest of

markets, such as the financial services market, that the banks feel should be their exclusive territory. A decision by the Chinese government to

appease the banks will impact Alibaba’s operations and profits. Because Alibaba operates in China, under a communist regime, both government decisions

and the company’s actions are not as transparent as they would be in the West. What infor- mation should investors have access to through Alibaba’s Web

site to increase transparency and reduce investor risk? How should this lack of transparency impact Western investment in the Chinese IT giant?