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The Financial Times reports that Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is adjusting one of its subsidiaries’ business model so that it is m ore competitive with Amazon.

According to the story, “Trudy Dai, president of Alibaba’s wholesale marketplaces division, told the Financial Times that AliExpress — an ecommerce business that sells goods from Chinese retailers to customers in more than 150 countries — is making changes to enable retailers from other countries to also sell products on its platform around the world … AliExpress has for the first time opened its platform to vendors overseas, allowing small and medium-sized businesses in Russia, Turkey, Italy and Spain to register and sell their products to other countries in the AliExpress network.”

FT writes that Alibaba has “identified AliExpress as the spearhead for a globalisation strategy that is also supported by Alibaba’s subsidiary Lazada, south-east Asia’s largest ecommerce platform, and other affiliated companies around the world. Alibaba has also taken equity stakes in Indonesia’s Tokopedia and India’s Snapdeal.”
KC's View:
What seems to be happening here is Alibaba positioning itself to be more competitive with Amazon throughout the world, which means figuring out how to assemble the pieces of its empire in the most competitive configuration.

Alibaba, along with JD.com, has managed to blunt Amazon’s impact in China - Amazon is closing its online store there, though Chinese consumers still will be able to order from Amazon’s international marketplace.

Seems to me that we’re just at the beginning of this conflagration.