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China's Forgotten E-Commerce Giant Is Looking To Make Its Mark

China's Forgotten E-Commerce Giant Is Looking To Make Its Mark

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA) is the unofficial king of e-commerce in China but that doesn't mean the competitive landscape is empty.

According to Gadfly's Tim Culpan, Alibaba's chief rival JD.Com Inc(ADR) (NASDAQ: JD) is looking to make its mark on the global stage — perhaps in a bid to duplicate Alibaba's strategy of seeking out investments across the world.

Culpan noted that is looking to invest in Indonesia's PT Tokopedia, one of the country's biggest e-commerce operators to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. Perhaps more ironic is the fact that Tokopedia follows Alibaba's business model of connecting third parties to buyers rather than's direct-sales approach.

In fact,'s business model generated nearly $40 billion in revenue throughout 2016 while Alibaba's model generated slightly more than $15 billion. But on the other hand, reported a net loss in 2016 while Alibaba took home $3.7 billion in net income last year.

Investors May Need To Be Patient

Perhaps realized its business model isn't working and needs to make changes.

Culpan noted a stake in the Indonesian company will give it ways to integrate operations and cut overlap in logistics and customer service. The problem is if brings its Chinese game-plan outside of the country, then investors could expect more years of slim margins and continued losses before any economies of scale can kick in.

But many of's investors have held on to their holdings for years so being told to wait even longer for signs of success "may come as a blow."

Related Links:

Morgan Stanley: Chinese Internet Stocks Must Boost Investments, User Retention, Geographic Reach's CEO: 'Trump Won't Be A Big Issue'
Image Credit: By N509FZ - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


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