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Competitive Environment:Alibaba will continue dominating the domestic E-commerce industry due to its strong market power and diversified businesses. As more than 600 million Chinese Internet users are moving to smartphones, Alibaba is putting increased emphasis on the smartphone market to remain competitive. The biggest com-petitor Alibaba will face moving into the mobile platforms is Tencent, China’s largest and most used inter-net service portal provider (Tencent, n.d.). Although Tencent focus primarily on social media and enter-tainment its strong internet presence and changing interests have started to overlap with that of Alibaba’s. Globally, the biggest competitors for Alibaba are eBay and Amazon. Both of the companies skyrocketed to success with very little competition, leading to a rapid growth in their business markets.
5 Both companies have a similar mission, which is to promote global trade and make trading easier. These companies have dominated the E-commerce industry and have seen extreme growth levels after only being in the industry for no more than 20 years. CURRENT SITUATIONToday, Alibaba Group is operating businesses in a wide spectrum of industries and has grown into a global leader in online and mobile commerce. Its related businesses operate in leading online marketplaces as well as internet based advertising services, electronic payment, cloud computing and mobile solutions (Alibaba Group, n.d.). Alibaba Group has become the most valuable public company in China and one of the most popular technology companies in the world after its U.S. IPO in September, 2014 (Lajoie & Shearman, 2014). Market ExpansionIn recent years, Alibaba Group has experienced rapid growth in market expansion and diversification. In 2011, Tmall.com and Juhuasuan were spun off from Taobao Marketplace into two independent platforms and they have subsequently become the two most popular online marketplaces for retailers and online group buying (Alibaba Group, n.d.). In 2013, Alibaba introduced the Alibaba Smart TV OS, a smart TV operating system with enhanced features such as online shopping and bill payment options. During the same year, Alibaba officially launched its mobile social networking app, Laiwang, to attract mobile users and to sustain its competitive advantage in the mobile phone industry. Alibaba is also expanding into the North American market by investing heavily in mobile and e-commerce start-up firms. It has invested 215 million U.S. dollars in messaging app Tango and 170 million in Fanatics, an online sports memorabilia retailer (Forbes, 2014). Initial Public OfferingOn September 18, 2014, Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA) announced its initial public offering of 320,106,100 American depositary shares. This IPO raised 25 billion U.S. dollars for Alibaba and is the largest global IPO to date (Lajoie & Shearman, 2014.). It made Alibaba the fourth biggest technology firm in the world after Apple, Google and Microsoft (Lajoie & Shearman, 2014).
6 PerformanceAlibaba Group has also maintained a stable and consistent growth in its financial performance. In