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Published by: Institute for Management Development (IMD)
Originally published in: 2007
Version: 06.12.2007

Abstract

This is the third of a four-case series. 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 online 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? The (B) case documents how Taobao competes with eBay in China's C2C market. It describes Taobao's strategy to increase its market share. The (C) case discusses Taobao's business model. Although they gained market share at the expense of eBay, the question remains - what business model should they adopt so they can make money in the future?
Location:
Size:
1.8 million registered users in 2003
Other setting(s):
2003-2006

About

Abstract

This is the third of a four-case series. 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 online 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? The (B) case documents how Taobao competes with eBay in China's C2C market. It describes Taobao's strategy to increase its market share. The (C) case discusses Taobao's business model. Although they gained market share at the expense of eBay, the question remains - what business model should they adopt so they can make money in the future?

Settings

Location:
Size:
1.8 million registered users in 2003
Other setting(s):
2003-2006

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