Over the years, The Low Down has featured many articles about Alibaba – this compilation seeks to highlight the key articles that, when put together, tell a story of Alibaba’s expansion strategies.

The giant Alibaba group we see today started off as Alibaba.com, a humble B2B marketplace. From this foothold, within twenty years or so, they have expanded their business into a comprehensive, pervasive ecosystem comprising dozens of different platforms and subsidiaries. David Wei, who served as the CEO of Alibaba.com between 2006 and 2011, shared his experience building Alibaba’s vastly successful B2B business, and the secrets of scaling a B2B company.

David Wei’s sharing on his experience scaling B2B businesses

Beyond that, though, Alibaba has reached their business into many different areas. To put their sheer size into perspective, the sum of Alibaba group’s functions is comparable to what Amazon, eBay, PayPal, and FedEx does combined. In fact, these incumbents are already finding it impossible to compete in China. An example of this that we wrote about in early 2019 was Amazon in China. Among other things, they faced such steep competition in the Chinese e commerce sector that they were eventually pushed out.

Amazon suffered heavily in China 

There are many reasons why Alibaba group succeeds at building such a pervasive ecosystem, but a notable reason is how opportunistic the company is. They are constantly looking for new opportunities to move into different sectors, giving rise to their presence in various fields, even moving into “new retail” with their successful Hema supermarket. However, to gain a good overview of the expanse of their scope, it is important to gain insight on their core businesses, namely financial services with Ant Financial, as well as movements to strengthen their position in the ecommerce sector, such as their move to acquire NetEase’s ecommerce business, which we covered back in late 2019.

Alibaba strengthening their position in ecommerce

In addition to this, Alibaba Group’s different businesses complement each other well and work together to form a comprehensive system. Their ability to bring together different parts as a whole helps them execute their expansion strategy well, preventing them from losing focus across broad sectors. Instead, they are able to come together and function like a well-oiled machine. This is evident in their hugely successful runs of 11.11, or Single’s Day, which other competitors are recognising and trying to emulate.

Preview of Compilation

Download the compilation of articles here: https://bit.ly/TLD-alibaba to get a full rundown of our coverage on Alibaba thus far, and gain insights on their growth journey!

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