View photosMoreFounder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma meets Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg not pictured , at the China Development Forum in Beijing, China, March 19, 2016.REUTERS/Shu Zhang Reuters - China's Jack Ma is canceling a planned speech at an anti-counterfeiting conference after the trade group behind it suspended the membership of his e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, the company said on its news website on Tuesday.Alibaba Group President Michael Evans will represent the company at the conference instead, according to the report on the Alizila website.Alibaba has been accused by several brands, including Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, of being a conduit for counterfeiters.Alibaba said on Alizila that it remains firmly committed to the protection of intellectual property rights and combating counterfeit."We look forward to engaging with the IACC membership on IP enforcement issues on May 19th in Orlando, Florida," it said.
One97 Communications Ltd., the owner of an Indian online payment processor backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. s finance arm, said funds at its disposal were enough to last five years, enabling it to build a business model that s predictable.We have enough money in the bank to last 21 quarters if we keep spending at the same rate as last year, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, chief executive officer of One97 that owns Paytm, said in an interview to Bloomberg TV in Hong Kong.One97, which was founded in 2000 by Sharma, doesn t plan to sell shares in an initial public offering for at least three years, Sharma said.The company has received funding from Intel Capital, private-equity firm SAIF Partners and Fitbit Inc.-backer Sapphire Ventures LLC.A Morgan Stanley fund marked down the value of its investment in Flipkart by more than 25 percent, paring the valuation to $11 billion in less than a year from as high as $15 billion.India s only food-tech unicorn, Gurgaon-based Zomato Media Pvt., saw its billion-dollar valuation slashed in half this month by analysts at HSBC Securities and Capital Markets India .Paytm started as a provider of value-added-services for mobile phones and later evolved into a marketing platform for consumer brands to reach customers via text messages and voice calls.The payment-processing system Paytm is the public face of One97.Its businesses include mobile-recharge services and an e-commerce platform where consumers can find goods including clothing and cameras.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is discussing becoming a top sponsor of FIFA, according to people familiar with the matter, a partnership that would strengthen the ties between China s power brokers and global soccer s top executives.Alibaba would become the second Chinese company to commit to soccer s governing body at a high level after Dalian Wanda Group Co. signed up earlier this year.Since President Xi Jinping made soccer success a national priority, Chinese companies and businessmen have made a slew of investments in national and international clubs, and the country has made plain its desire to host the FIFA World Cup.A sponsorship deal hasn t been finalized and details aren t known.For example, Alibaba E-Auto is the title sponsor of the FIFA Club World Cup.Alibaba Sports has been in touch with FIFA because of the affiliation with the Club World Cup, said Wang Jingyi, a Shanghai-based spokeswoman who declined to comment further.Before Wanda, it hadn t added a new top-tier sponsor since 2012.Six to eight slots are designated for "FIFA partners," a commitment that costs about $40 million per year and lasts for a four-year World Cup cycle.In March, Wanda joined Adidas AG, Coca-Cola Co., Gazprom, Hyundai Motor Co. and Visa Inc.. at that top level.There are still two open slots, which the people familiar with the matter said are expected to be filled by the end of the summer.
View photosMoreA sign of Alibaba Group is seen at CES Consumer Electronics Show Asia 2016 in Shanghai, China, May 12, 2016.REUTERS/Aly SongHONG KONG Reuters - Hong Kong's securities regulator said that Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd breached takeover rules in the purchase of a healthcare firm in 2014 because it also bought a company owned by the brother of the healthcare firm's vice chairman on "favourable terms."Alibaba agreed to buy a stake in CITIC 21CN, now known as Alibaba Health Information Technology Ltd , for $170 million two years ago.Hong Kong's Takeovers and Mergers Panel, part of the Securities and Futures Commission SFC , ruled that Alibaba's purchase of Hebei Huiyan "constituted a special deal with favourable conditions which were not extended to all shareholders and was a clear breach of the Takeovers Code," according to the decision published on Wednesday.But the e-commerce firm added the regulator issued a new waiver in view of the sharp rise in Alibaba Health stock since 2014, meaning Alibaba is not currently required to launch a full buyout.Alibaba owns 38 percent of Alibaba Health, but last year injected an online pharmacy business into Alibaba Health.
View photosFILE - In this Nov. 18, 2015 file photo, Alibaba founder Jack Ma speaks at the CEO Summit, attended by 800 business leaders from around the region representing U.S. and Asia-Pacific companies, in Manila, Philippines, ahead of the start of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File MoreNEW YORK AP — Jack Ma, the head of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, is withdrawing from an anti-counterfeiting convention in Florida just two days before he was scheduled to give the keynote speech.Alibaba announced the move Tuesday following last week's suspension of the company's membership in the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition, a small but influential group that lobbies U.S. officials and testifies before Congress.Ma is a self-made billionaire, and Alibaba, which he founded in 1999, went public in 2014 in the biggest initial public offering of stock to date.According to an investigation by The Associated Press, Barchiesi had stock in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., had close ties to an Alibaba executive and had used family members to help run the coalition.Alibaba has dismissed the case as "wasteful litigation."
View photosMoreA logo of Alibaba Group is pictured at its headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, October 14, 2015.REUTERS/Stringer/File photoORLANDO, Fla. Reuters - Alibaba said on Thursday it still wanted to work with companies fighting counterfeit brand-name products, a week after the Chinese online shopping platform was kicked out of an industry coalition due to long-standing accusations that it has turned a blind eye to counterfeits.Alibaba has been dogged for years by critics who called its online shopping platforms conduits for counterfeiters.The IACC is made up of brand manufacturers, the lawyers who represent them and investigators who help ferret out counterfeit goods.An IACC member who attended the speech told Reuters that Evans received a less-than-warm welcome and tepid applause from the group, which is split over Alibaba s membership.I think people are very reluctant to hear what he had to say, said member Chris Barnes of Market Watch, a company the helps brands fight counterfeits.
View photosMoreA man speaks on his mobile phone near a Samsung store in central Kiev, Ukraine, May 11, 2016.REUTERS/Valentyn OgirenkoSEOUL Reuters - Samsung Electronics and Alibaba Group Holding plan to announce a collaboration on mobile payment systems on Friday, South Korean media reported.Under the tie-up, Samsung Electronics plans to allow its smartphone customers to use Alipay, the online payment platform run by a unit of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, media reports said on Thursday.A Samsung Electronics spokeswoman declined to comment.
Philippe Laffont s Coatue Management LLC, which manages more than $7 billion, has backed China s biggest ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing as it competes with Uber Technologies Inc.Coatue participated in the Chinese firm s $3 billion funding round last month through a co-investment vehicle, Laffont wrote in a letter to investors obtained by Bloomberg News.Apple Inc. also announced a $1 billion investment in Didi, which operates in 400 Chinese cities, Laffont wrote.We believe Apple s investment in the company reaffirms our bullish stance on Didi as well as the prospects for the China ride-sharing market overall, Laffont wrote in the letter.The last funding round has swelled the company s valuation to about $26 billion, people familiar have said.Didi, already backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., has reached break even in about half of the 400 cities it operates in, as Uber spends heavily to win both drivers and riders.Coatue also added Paypal Holdings Inc. in the first quarter, betting that prices of technology, media and telecom stocks will be driven more by innovation than macroeconomic events, according to the letter.Coatue s flagship fund fell 2.5 percent in the first quarter while the MSCI World Index dropped 0.3 percent.It cut its short portfolio from 227 to 127 companies during the quarter."While never good enough, we are encouraged that our short portfolio is hanging in there in what continues to be a challenging environment for short-selling," the letter said.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. pleaded its case to hundreds of members of an anti-counterfeit group that the company has the data, technology and desire to help keep fake brands off its online marketplaces.Company president Michael Evans addressed the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition in Orlando Thursday a week after the group abruptly suspended the Chinese Internet giant s membership, amid questions regarding conflicts of interest involving the coalition s president and complaints from some members.Alibaba only joined the IACC in April, after the group created a new membership category for the online retailer.We believe the future of Alibaba -- and the future of many of your companies -- will depend on us working closely together to fight counterfeits, Evans said in prepared remarks.IACC members include prominent brands such as Apple Inc., Nike, Calvin Klein and Procter & Gamble, which Alibaba is courting to help boost sales of global brands to Chinese shoppers.In a closed-door meeting at the group s spring conference, Evans shared new details about how Alibaba has used data culled from its marketplace, which serves 400 million shoppers and 10 million businesses, to identify suspected makers and sellers of fake products.Alibaba s collaboration with Chinese law enforcement in 2015 resulted in the arrest of 300 people, the destruction of 46 places where counterfeits are made and the confiscation of $125 million in worth of products, Evans told the group.Alibaba wants global brands to see its marketplaces as a gateway to Chinese customers rather than a place where counterfeits flourish.Evans highlighted Alibaba s data as a key link to help brands fight fraud.The company spent more than $15 million in 2015 buying merchandise on its marketplace suspected of being fake and used its payments division Alipay to freeze accounts of those suspected of selling counterfeit goods, Evans said.The company froze $72 million in accounts and refunded $12 million to customers last year, he said."We have the scale, we have the data and we have the commitment to be a global leader in anti-counterfeiting," Evans told the group.
Samsung Electronics Co. agreed with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. s financial-services affiliate to cooperate on mobile payments, as the world s largest smartphone-maker looks to expand its presence in China, a market where it has struggled in recent years.In a statement, the companies said Samsung s mobile payment service, dubbed Samsung Pay, will work with Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial Services Group s Alipay, which has more than 450 million active registered users.For Samsung, which is touting Samsung Pay as a selling point for its premium devices, a tie-up with Alipay could give its service wider reach in a market it is desperate to restore its fortunes in.For Alibaba, working with the world s largest smartphone maker could help it expand overseas, a priority for the company.Last month, Alipay launched in Europe, and earlier this year, Alipay signed a deal with Uber Technologies Inc. to allow Chinese users to pay for rides with Alipay while traveling outside mainland China.While Alipay is mostly used for settling online transactions, it is increasingly being accepted by brick-and-mortar retailers and restaurants around China.
Samsung announced today that it has cemented a deal that will make Alipay, China s largest online payments platform, available through Samsung Pay.The partnership, made between Samsung Electronics and Ant Financial, the Alibaba financial tech affiliate that owns Alipay, is important because Alipay is one of the most formidable rivals mobile payments like Samsung Pay and Apple Pay face as they tackle the Chinese market.Alipay, which claims about 450 million active registered users, launched the Alipay Wallet smartphone app, which stores credit card and coupon information and can be used for offline payments, back in 2013.The deal hasn t been announced yet, but the popularity of iPhones in China—they still hold about a 14.6 percent market share, despite competition from Android rivals like Huawei and Xiaomi—means it would not be surprising if one was announced soon, too.In a press statement, Fan Zhiming, the president of Ant Financial s payment business unit, said the partnership will allow Alipay to expand its reach beyond e-commerce: Alipay covers the vast majority of online payment use cases.At the same time, it also developed a variety of offline use cases, including restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores, taxis, hospitals, and public services.
An Alipay Wallet advertisement.Photo: David WongSamsung Electronics is teaming up with Alibaba-backed Alipay to allow Samsung Pay users to link their Alipay accounts to the app, as the South Korean giant looks to get more Chinese users on board its mobile payments service.Injong Rhee, executive vice-president at Samsung Electronics, said that Samsung will be working with Alipay to expand Samsung Pay services in China .Alipay covers the vast majority of online payment use cases, said Fan Zhiming, president of the Payment Business Unit at Ant Financial.The technology integration … with Samsung Electronics will make the payment process faster and more convenient when users make payments at stores where Alipay is accepted.Samsung s shrinking market share and the fact that Samsung Pay is only compatible with its later devices mean the company s user base is limited to customers who are willing to shell out for a high-end Samsung phone.
The battle is especially intense because hundreds of millions of smartphone users and businesses have embraced payment via phone in China, where credit-card use is limited.Tencent—whose WeChat app has 762 million monthly active users—is spending heavily on discounts and distinct features, as well as making alliances to allow it to offer more on-demand services.The aim: win over hundreds of millions of Alipay users like Wang Wei.Payment platforms enable them to collect more data on transactions, which can help them tailor financial services from wealth management to consumer lending.Since February, Tencent has also been trying to get more overseas stores to accept WeChat Pay.Alipay already offers a wide range of overseas payment services for Chinese travelers.
Last fall, Chinese online-game developer Giant Interactive Group teamed up with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. BABA 0.60 % and held talks with SoftBank and Supercell over an acquisition, people familiar with the matter said.Tencent, Supercell, SoftBank, Alibaba and Giant declined to comment.The company s mobile games are free to download, and Supercell makes money by selling virtual goods that enhance the players game experiences.Last year, it bought minority stakes in U.S. mobile-game publishers Glu Mobile Inc. and Pocket Gems Inc. Tencent has been assembling a war chest for potential acquisitions and is raising about $4 billion for a bank loan, people familiar with the matter said earlier this month.SoftBank s portfolio of video-game companies is one area that is under scrutiny from company President Nikesh Arora, who in March was put in charge of its international investments and operations, a person familiar with the matter said.Any sale of such assets would help shore up SoftBank s balance sheet, which is saddled with more than $80 billion in net interest-bearing debt, about a third of which is tied to its struggling U.S. mobile carrier unit Sprint Corp.—--Alexander Martin in Tokyo and Matthias Verbergt in Stockholm contributed to this article.
AliCloud eyes Indian data centre build to compete with Western cloud expansionAlibaba is set to open a data centre region in India, a move that would bolster its AliCloud public cloud services in the country against the expansion of western cloud rivals such as AWS and Microsoft.AliCloud, the public cloud computing division of Chinese e-commerce juggernaut Alibaba, could even launch the data centre before Amazon Web Services AWS does, according to Indian newspaper The Hindu.GrowthLast month, Alibaba s AliCloud posted a revenue increase of 175 percent, reaching revenues of $165 million £113m in the quarter ending March 31.AliCloud has also worked to focus on Big Data, and new features from the cloud vendor include Big Data computing engines and data analysis tools.In Alibaba s native China, the cloud vendor offers a range of infrastructure and cloud features, ranging from networking solutions to big data analytics, but its US efforts are limited to compute, storage, relational database services and load balancing.AliCloud is growing like crazy more than 100 percent per year and it is now opening data centres outside of mainland China US, Hong Kong & Singapore opened; more planned in Japan, Germany and Dubai and it is now a top ten player in cloud infrastructure services; but all that being said its current revenues are barely 5 percent the size of AWS and AWS itself is growing its revenues by more than 60 percent per year, he said.
Amazon and eBay are still the biggest players in the online UK retailing landscape dwarfing most of the competition but the biggest surprise is the rise of Alibaba's AliExpress.That's right, a Chinese website is currently the fourth most visited general retailer website in the UK, on par with John Lewis and well ahead of the likes of Debenhams or Marks and Spencer.Rock bottom prices combined with a much wider choice of products and the allure of free delivery straight from the Chinese manufacturers might explain the country's growing interest in AliExpress.The findings come from a report published by online web analyst Similarweb which also found out that the growth in the so-called general merchandise websites was at the expense of other online shopping categories.All in all, Amazon and eBay account for nearly two thirds of all UK online shopping visits with desktops rather than mobiles leading the way.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. said it s being investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over its accounting practices and whether they violate federal laws.The company is providing documents and cooperating with the probe, according to the Hangzhou, China-based company s annual report.The investigation is looking at consolidation practices, related party transactions and data reported from its Singles Day promotion.Singles s Day is Alibaba s biggest shopping day, attracting more than 90 billion yuan $13.7 billion of sales on its e-commerce platforms in a 24-hour period last year.The SEC advised us that the initiation of a request for information should not be construed as an indication by the SEC or its staff that any violation of the federal securities laws has occurred, the company said.This matter is ongoing, and, as with any regulatory proceeding, we cannot predict when it will be concluded.Alibaba s shares were down 2.2 percent in early trading in New York to $79.35.They are little-changed this year through the market s close Tuesday.
China s biggest e-commerce company said in the filing that it is cooperating with the SEC, and that the commission told it the request for information shouldn t be taken as an indication of any violation of federal securities law.Some analysts and investors have long-questioned the transparency of Alibaba s financial statements, particularly the way it self-reports gross merchandise volume for Singles Day.The Nov. 11 Chinese holiday is a major online shopping day akin to Cyber Monday in the U.S. Last year, the company reported sales of more than $14 billion on that day alone.Related to accounting for its logistics network, a spokeswoman for the company pointed to a detailed description of Alibaba s Cainiao logistics network in its annual filing, which shows a net loss from the network of 90 million yuan and 295 million yuan in fiscal years 2015 and 2016, respectively.JD.com s numbers, by contrast, are consolidated for logistics, which gives investors a better sense of real costs incurred by a company, analysts say.But such an approach can make it difficult for specific information to be gathered, since each local delivery company operates as a franchise.
The Chinese e-commerce giant, which went public in 2014 in the largest NYSE IPO in history, quietly disclosed that the SEC is looking into whether it has violated federal securities laws.The probe focus is centered around Alibaba s relationship with its affiliate organizations, its business on Singles Day, China s largest online shopping day in which Alibaba grossed $14.3 billion in sales last year, and other general investments.Alibaba has spent more than $40 billion on M over the past five years, including recent billion dollar deals with food delivery firm Ele.me, Southeast Asia s Lazada and video site Youku Tudou, so there s plenty to pore over.The Chinese firm has a number of affiliate companies, including Ant Financial — which controls its Alipay service — and Cainiao, which is focused on logistics and recently raised its first external funding at a reported valuation of $7.7 billion.Cainiao was founded three years ago with partners from the logistics industry.Alibaba holds a 48 percent share in the business, but its exact role and financial involvement in the organization is unclear, as The New York Times pointed out last year.
There is confusion, but that's mainly because of the way people in the West construct their view of the global economy.It would be comforting to think changes in the global balance of power will come gradually.Trade negotiations led by the United States have been centered on TPP and TTIP.All four of its major web companies the BATs plus JD.Com are headed in that direction.Alibaba, rival JD.com, potentially TenCent and Baidu, Rakuten, John Deere, Monsanto are clear favorites to join a top 10 global platform list.China Construction Bank, HDFC, SAP, Ericsson, Hitachi, Hyundai could be up there too because they are all doing stuff that illustrates their awareness of a much radicalised future where core competency is no competency and where what counts is daring to be very different from yesterday's companies.
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