Jack Ma Refuses To Give Speech

alibaba iacc, alibaba counterfeit

Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma will not give a speech after the membership suspension with IACC last week

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s chief executive officer, Jack Ma has declined to give a speech at a conference focusing on anti-counterfeiting in the Unites States since the trade organization behind the venture put a halt on the company’s recently garnered membership.

BABA has been struggling since couple of years with accusations that its online shopping venture are retailing counterfeit goods. Moreover, many critics also claim that the company has not done much to overcome the problem.

Almost three of the members of the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition which is based in Washington that encompasses Tiffany & Co. as the board members also quit the group as a protest. Moreover, other members also threatened to quit the group after Alibaba was admitted back in April.

So on Friday, the IACC finally suspended on the new category in which Alibaba was admitted. This eventually terminated the membership.

According to Jennifer Kuperman, the head of international corporate communications mentioned in a statement, “Given the IACC’s desire for additional time to reflect upon the viability of its general membership category, Alibaba feels it best that Jack Ma postpone his appearance.”

However, Michael Evans, the Alibaba Group President will replace Jack Ma will speak at the conference in Orlando, Florida instead.

Kuperman also expressed solidarity with the company by reiterating its stance of “firmly committed to the protection of intellectual property rights and combating counterfeits”.

The same day when the cancellation took place, Mr. Jack Ma ha lunch with Mr. Barack Obama, the President United States at the White House reported a source close to the company.

The biggest E-commerce giant in China has vowed to fight against counterfeit goods for which it has recruited several employees. However, many brands are of the view that the issue is still alarming particularly on its popular shopping platform, Taobao.

The company came up with a letter to the IACC where it explained its decision to bid farewell to the Michael Kors group. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd stating, “The largest marketplace for counterfeit merchandise the world has ever seen” and blasted the IACC for providing “cover to our most dangerous and damaging adversary”.

The previous week Taobao stated that it is getting stricter with its laws in terms of the control on the sale of luxury items. Sellers are now required to come up with a proof of authenticity so that the sale of fake goods can be countered.

The sale of fake products is extremely common in China in the brick and mortar shops as well as online fraternity.

According to the report by the official People Daily newspaper published this month, the Chinese authorities are going to come up with a campaign to clean out the E-commerce space with focus on counterfeit, poor quality good and violations etc. This move is going to have an impact on rivals such as JD.com Inc. and Baidu Inc.


Alibaba To Turn Rural Residents Into Online Shoppers

alibaba rural, rural china alibaba, alibaba taobao

Alibaba has launched Rural Taobao in order to help the technology challenged people to make online purchases for the basic necessities

For a very long time, Alibaba Group Holding is trying to expand its footprints in the rural areas of China. The online retailer does have an 80 percent or so market share in the domestic region but the people living in rural areas are still not familiar with its name or does not have the basic facilities in order to get things from the online retail shop. The shoppers are not much advanced there plus the barriers it will have to face while delivering packages to the rural area shoppers would be a big challenge.

Previously it was noted that Alibaba Group was all set to build roads that would have been one obstacle in its way while delivering packages to the customers. It is currently working to connect its online marketplaces with rural residents so that they are more engrossed in online shopping than offline shopping. For that matter, the company is taking help from a man named Luo Rong. Mr. Rong quit his engineering job last fall from which he used to make $30,000 annually. He has now moved back to his village at Jade Peak with his family and opened a shop with a big orange and green sign out front.

The store which Luo Rong runs is not thickly stocked but has a few packages of seeds, sweaters, sneakers, laundry soaps, and Skittles candy. Irrespective of the size of its stock, reports suggest that there is no lack of customers as of yet. The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has provided him with a computer and a big screen display. He starts working from 7:30 in the morning till 11:00 p.m. while only taking breaks for meals. During this time, Luo helps his neighbors who are more technology challenged to buy fertilizers, TVs, grocery, and electric cars from Alibaba’s platform made only for them called Rural Taobao.

Luo Rong not only helps them in purchasing but takes care of all the payments and delivery to Jade Peak in order to make the whole process easy. However his earning method is receiving commission for the sales made from sellers.

A 56 year old farmer, Luo Laibing, recently stopped at the store to buy more than 1,000 pounds of fertilizer. He said, “This is going to change the whole village. It’s saving us money and time, and is making life much more convenient.”

It is believed that a newly devised marketplace for people in rural areas, Rural Taobao, is an ‘ambitious’ push by the Chinese e-commerce leader to capitalize and monetize the 600 million residents’ market. The company is making efforts in order to turn the rural residents into online shoppers or sellers. This move is also a part of its growth plan which is currently stalled due to the slow economic growth since 2009.

The general manager of Rural Taobao, Sun Lijun, said in a statement “The success of rural e-commerce throughout China is due to the top-to-bottom concern from the government … starting from the president and the premier down to lower-level officials and departments. We have 300 counties participating so far, and when we send in one Alibaba employee, the government deploys 10 people.”

Alibaba-backed Cainiao Raises $1.54 Billion In Funding

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Alibaba’s logistics affiliate lands a billion dollar funding at a valuation of $7.7 billion

Alibaba Group Holding is on a roll this year and it happens to be a perfect time for all the affiliated companies this month. It was reported last month that Alibaba’s main financial arm, Ant Financial, who also owns and operates Alipay along with other businesses is close to raise funds of up to $1 billion in an attempt to increase its valuation to $60 billion. But that is in the past. Now a three year old backed logistics firm, Cainiao, confirmed its first ever external fundraising from Primavera Capital in China, Khazanah Nasional in Malaysia, and GIC and Temasek Holdings in Singapore.

So far, the size of the fund raiser is not revealed publically. Alibaba Group also refused to provide financial details when Tech Crunch asked for it. But according to Caixin, which is a financial news web page, it is reported that the deal is an upwards of $1.54 billion (10 billion Yuan) at a $7.7 billion (50 billion Yuan) valuation.

Alibaba is well known for its billion dollar e-commerce business which is one of the largest in the world. It is also famous for other feats of which one include holding of the largest US Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the history. Alibaba is a huge company if someone actually dug deeper. It has numerous affiliate companies which cover the related verticals i.e. related to its main e-commerce business but does not include them in the parent company. Cainiao is one of them.

Cainiao is a logistics firm backed by the Chinese e-commerce giant which was created back in 2013 with a goal to be a UPS-like shipping firm. The reason for its establishment was to allow deliveries to and from China and other international markets. Apart from this, the goal was to also tap in the big data industry as well as other technology that would help in increasing the efficiency.

The logistics firm has about 128 warehouses and 18,000 express delivery stations throughout China. Cainiao has developed itself as a dominant force in the shipping and delivery space is accountable for 70 percent of the market share when it comes to express packages. Being one of the biggest in the regions and the number of orders it receives due to the ever growing Alibaba business, it offers same day delivery service in seven cities of China whereas next day delivery service in other 90 Chinese countries.

Bloomberg reported that Cainiao plans to expand its network to 2,800 destinations across its mainland and 224 countries and regions across the world by the end of this month. As it is believed, in order to fund its expansion the logistics firm is focusing on the public offering in the coming times. The CEO Tong Wenhong claims that it is in the position to ship and deliver almost 200 million express packages daily.

Alibaba Warned Again By US Trade Group Over Fakery

Alibaba Warned Again By US Trade Group Over Fakery

The US Trade Group issues another warning to the Chinese tech giant regarding the sales of counterfeited goods

Alibaba Group Holding is once again the center of attention for the US trade officials. On many previous occasions the company has been warned to look after its online marketplaces to ensure that there is no fakery whatsoever. The US trade group urged the United States government to add the Chinese tech giant on the list of notorious markets for fakes but so far it has not been done. Two of the company’s platforms, Alibaba.com and Taobao Marketplace, were previously banned in the region and were removed from the list back in 2009 and 2012 respectively.

However the Wall Street Journal reports that the trade representatives of US have issued another warning to Alibaba Group. The group stated that it has been receiving complains from the brand owners that are not happy with Alibaba’s online sales and its platforms who still have sellers that offer counterfeit goods to the consumers. This is devaluing the products of luxury brand because consumers can order and buy same items and lower prices through Alibaba then.

It is believed that the Trade Representatives want the Chinese company to intensify its efforts and do further thorough checking on sellers available on its platforms. The Group mentioned in a report on piracy in global markets that Alibaba should join hands with other companies to eliminate fakery on its online marketplaces. The report stated, “Brand owners continue to report that Alibaba platforms, particularly Taobao, are used to sell large quantities of counterfeit goods.”

The report added that the brand and luxury brand owners have not stopped complaining even despite the company changed its conditions and enacted new security measures to eliminate fakery at the earliest. According to the report, “Despite these new procedures, USTR is increasingly concerned by rights holders’ reports that Alibaba Group’s enforcement program is too slow, difficult to use, and lacks transparency.”

The Wall Street Journal says that group will not be adding Alibaba and all its marketplaces to its list of notorious markets for fakes however it expects and further encourages the company to take serious action. Moreover, the agency wants the company to address all these complaints from the brand owners in cooperation with all the stakeholders.

Jack Ma previously said that counterfeiting is not only an issue for Alibaba but it is an issue for all the global e-commerce companies in the market. But his company along with others is ready to combat fakery and eliminate it in the coming times. The founder said that counterfeiting will not only damage the reputation of Alibaba but China as well.

Alibaba Group Invests $450 Million For The Young Entrepreneurs

Alibaba Group Invests $450 Million For The Young Entrepreneurs

Alibaba all set to run its Alibaba Hong Kong Young Entrepreneurs Foundation with a hefty funding

Alibaba Group Holding announced in the beginning of this year regarding its two funding programs to support the young entrepreneurs in the regions of Hong Kong and Taiwan. This initiative to support the young entrepreneurs was known as the Alibaba Hong Kong Young Entrepreneurs Foundation and was made official back then. As of now, the Taiwan based fund totals up to $306 million (NT$ 10 billion) whereas the Hong Kong based fund is $130 million (HK$ 1 billion) in cash.

The company stated that it has established this program in order to assist the young entrepreneurs in achieving their goals, visions, and dreams in the industry. It is believed that the Chinese tech giant is determined to invest in startups as well as small sized businesses and wants to see them prosper as the time passes by. Alibaba Group’s program will not only include heavy funding in cash but will also offer its own services, technical assistance, and training so that they are directed towards the right path.

Hence, it will not be only about investing and showing their money power but helping the startups and small businesses to spur with time. Alibaba already runs marketplaces where millions of small vendors, merchants, and businesses sell their items. The company is such a big name not only in China but all over the world however its international market presence is not that strong. But it is still working to make its business in China stronger. The record breaking IPO holder company will be helping the young entrepreneurs that are looking to grow their presence in the mainland and sell their items to the Chinese consumers.

It is believed that the startups and small businesses would also be listed on Alibaba’s online marketplaces such as Tmall.com and Taobao Marketplace to efficiently promote their business as well as use other services such as the huge cloud computing services of Aliyun.

According to the executive Vice Chairman of the company, Joe Tsai, stated “At Alibaba our mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. We are passionate about fostering entrepreneurial spirit and hope the resources provided by the fund will help unleash potential for innovation and entrepreneurship in Taiwan [and Hong Kong,]”

This is a bold initiative as with the increasing trend of online shopping, Alibaba might be investing in a business or start up that might later give tough competition to the tech giant.


Alibaba Halts International Expansion Plans To Reconsider Priorities

Alibaba Halts International Expansion Plans To Reconsider Priorities

Due to the problems faced in China by the leading e-commerce giant, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, the company has decided to put a halt to its expansion spree for the time being. For now, the Chinese e-commerce giant has planned to stop business in India, the world’s second most populated country.

Currently, India has a population of over 1.2 billion citizen with a growth in yearly population by 1.24%. It had initially struck a deal with Micromax, one of the South Asian country’s major smartphone groups but not it has put a stop to it while it plans on delaying other such investment deals in the country as well. The sole reason for stopping business in the South Asian country is the heightened volatility in the global market.

Due to the slowing economy of the e-commerce giant’s home market, it has stopped its expansion plans for India, which were according to the executive chairman, very close to his heart; even so that he had planned India to be the organization’s growth center for the past year. Along with the slowing economy, the lawsuit against the company for selling fake merchandise has also compromised on its reputation.

The deal that Alibaba Company signed with Micromax was based on acquisition of 20% stake of the Indian smartphone company, which was worth over $3 billion. Micromax, being the largest smartphone provider in the Indian market by sales, still has not backed out from the deal, but neither has Alibaba. Until further discussion, it has been halted for now. This deal is also believed to be quite enticing for other major players in the market.

On November 12, 2015, Alibaba’s stock declined by 0.05% and the shares of the company were being traded at a share price of $79.81 at the last trading session. The highest point was witnessed at was $82.49 while the lowest was $78.21. Throughout the session, the share price fluctuated between these numbers, despite of the fact that the company performed exceptionally well on Singles’ Day. Year to date performance of the company’s stock has declined by 20% and the lowest share price was witnessed amidst the slow global economy in September at $57.20.

Considering the slowdown, the e-commerce giant should just focus on its hometown market for now and try to maintain its reputation in that market rather than expanding elsewhere while moving towards further declining market shares. It has also previously discussed its plans of launching in the American market as well, but keeping in mind the economy, that time does not seem to be in the near future.

Alibaba Broke Singles’ Day Record

Alibaba Broke Singles' Day Record

Alibaba breaks its own record on Singles’ Day

Alibaba Group Holding is the master in the online retailing industry. The company is known for owning and operating various online marketplaces which generates major chunk of the revenues for the company. As the holiday season is approaching, most online retailers are pumped to do heavy business during the time but the Chinese tech giant does not focus more on the holiday festivals such as Black Friday or Thanksgiving but it puts emphasis on its own holiday festival, Singles’ Day.

Singles’ Day falls on November 11 every year which is usually dedicated to all the singles living in China. And every year, the company breaks its own record, for fun, and makes huge sales in one day. Hence now Singles’ Day is known as the biggest online shopping event of the year. Once again, the company has broken its own record on this day where by the close of trade, Alibaba Group recorded sales worth at a massive $14.3 billion (91.2 billion Yuan; £9.4 billion). The sales were increased by 60 percent if compared from last year’s Singles’ Day.

Furthermore, if this day is compared to the biggest online shopping event in the United States which is Cyber Monday, it recorded sales worth at $1.35 billion. As BBC reports, “Singles Day has grown tremendously since Alibaba began promoting it as a shopping day in 2009, and now includes many retailers such as rivals JD.com that stage sales promotions.” The company stated that more than 40,000 sellers and nearly 30,000 brands from 25 countries will be available for purchase on its various online marketplaces this year onwards.

The Chief Executive of the company, Daniel Zhang, stated that on this day the world can easily witness the power of Chinese consumption on Singles’ Day. He also made a promise to the online shoppers that it will give a new surprise every hour throughout the day and this was specifically made for the mobile users of its apps.

An analyst at market research firm Euromonitor International, Fangting Sun stated “[It’s] not only due to the wide choices and competitive prices, but also the heavy marketing campaigns especially the successful gala evening which invited lots of famous entertainment stars.”

She further added that the tech sector of China is now a huge market with almost one billion smart connected devices.

Alibaba stock was down 1.99% to $79.81 at market close on Wednesday November 11.