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Reuters reports that Chinas e-commerce giant Alibaba "is trumpeting a push into bricks-and-mortar shopping. It’s not alone but the stakes are particularly high for the $392 billion giant led by Jack Ma as it marks a reversal of the asset-light model which fueled its extraordinary profitability."

According to the story, "Ma's so-called 'New Retail' strategy envisions marrying two worlds. The basic idea is that Alibaba will now build some of its own test stores from scratch and upgrade existing brick-and-mortar shops in partnership with established retailers to make them more efficient in both online and offline sales."

There is a sense, the story says, that Alibaba's online revenue model may be "reaching its limits," and the shift suggests that "Alibaba is asset agnostic rather than asset light."
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