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Published by:
RSM Case Development Centre (2010)
Revision date:
15 pages
Data source:
Field research


China-based Alibaba Group, a world leading e-commerce company, attributes its success largely to the business network it has fostered. It founded various group companies to cross-sell and cross-market each other's services and offer packaged deals. This way, it formed a network of suppliers, partners and customers to fully exploit and serve the market. The Group's vision is to build a business network that will make it possible to do all aspects of business on-line. Though it has no serious competitor today, it does have concerns. One major concern is that whether another business model would emerge to challenge the Alibaba's business network. Considering the growing e-commerce industry worldwide, the Group must decide how to anchor its long-term strategy: to further expand its business network by including players from many more industries or to specialise in several strong industries within the business network, and to continue focusing on the Chinese market or to grow outside the home-base and build a global business network.


China; e-Commerce; Alibaba; Taobao; Smart business network; Localization; Business-to-business (B2B); Business-to-consumer (C2C); SME; Innovation; Competition
18,000 employees
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