A decade ago Alibaba, China’s largest internet conglomerate, has a regional e-commerce company, but not anymore.
Jack Ma, Alibaba’s billionaire founder has global ambitions. Over the past one decade Ma through the group’s various entities picked up stakes in promising internet companies all around the world.
India, too, was not different. Ant Financials, Alibaba’s investment arm made large investments in Snapdeal and Paytm. Now it wants to become a significant player in Indian e-commerce.
According to newspapers, Alibaba will pick up 40% stake in Paytm’s e-commerce business, which its founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma has spun off into a different entity.
According to source, Sharma wants to exit India, which is Alibaba’s opportunity to become a part of the $20 billion Indian e-commerce business. According to the source, Paytm has already got tie-ups with merchants and logistics partners. “Alibaba will have to build on top of what already exists,” the source said.
Reports suggests that the Chinese e-commerce giant will put in Rs 1,700 crore to boost the existing business. Alibaba’s entry will start a three way battle in e-commerce between China, India (with Flipkart) and the US (with Amazon).
India will become the centre of Alibaba’s global expansion. It is the only country which has a growing internet population, has crossed the US, and still have a lot of headroom.
But Ma is not only concentrating on India -- Alibaba has opened country headquarters in Australia and New Zealand.
When young Ma spent time in Australia, and he said that Alibaba would help Australian and New Zealand businesses “share their world-famous products with billions of customers around the world”.
Alibaba’s Tmall and Tmall Global already houses more than 1,300 Australian and 400 New Zealand brands, the company said in a statement.
Alibaba will also expand its footprint in the areas of cloud computing, payments, digital entertainment and logistics, reports said.
(With inputs from Reuters)