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Published by:
Institute for Management Development (IMD) (2007)
12 pages
Data source:
Field research


This is the second of a four-case series (IMD-3-1842 to IMD-3-1844 and IMD-3-2187). This four part case series follows Alibaba - the leading business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce company in China - from 2003 to 2006. In April 2003 Jack Ma, the 39-year-old Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba was worried. According to the latest market data, eBay, the global leader in on-line auctions had reached almost total dominance of the local consumer-to-consumer (C2C) market - only about a year after its entry into China. While Alibaba was not active in the Chinese C2C market, and eBay''s expansion did not impact its current business, looking forward, there was cause for concern. What if eBay decided to use its C2C power to attack Alibaba in its traditional B2B domain? Jack wondered if anything could be done to prevent this from happening? Learning objectives: (1) how to compete in China''s B2C (business-to-consumer) and C2C Internet market; (2) how local Chinese companies can compete with multinational corporations; and (3) how to build a unique organisational culture.


Strategy; Entering new markets; Emerging markets; Building a unique organisational culture; Corporate culture
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