Alibaba Versus the Silicon Valley

Alibaba Versus the Silicon Valley


Alibaba: a Frankenstein of Google, Amazon, eBay, Uber, and a dozen other major US tech companies.

Chinese technology conglomerate Alibaba filed in the U.S for its IPO this week. This is a big deal for US companies and investors. Alibaba is enormous - it’s post-IPO market cap is expected to come out between $130B to $250B, meaning it will likely be worth more than Facebook. It’s tentacles reach industries dominated in the US by Amazon, PayPal, eBay, Twitter, Uber, and Google.

It’s hard to grasp how large Alibaba is. Google is also in many business lines, but those are almost exclusively digital. Alibaba, meanwhile, owns brick-and-mortar malls, financial institutions, and media publishers.

Quartz produced an insightful chart showing what US companies Alibaba’s business lines could be equated to. Reproducing that list on DataFox, we found a combined market cap of almost $400B, and over $4B in venture and growth capital raised.


Check out the Watchlist here (sign up for a free 30 day trial to access the interactive list and graphs):

Alibaba’s straddles sectors ranging from ecommerce to travel to digital media


Alibaba's main business lines:

  •  Ecommerce:
    • B2B:
    • C2C: Taobao
    • Online malls: Tmall
  • Digital Media:
    • Microblogging: Weibo
    • Video content: Youku Tudou
    • TV and film production: ChinaVision Media Group
  • Smartphones:
    • Chat: Laiwang, Tango
    • Taxi-booking: Kuaide Dache (literally, “quickly get a taxi”)
    • Maps: AutoNavi
    • Music-streaming: Xiami
    • Mobile-specific search
  • Financial Services
    • Online payments: Alipay
    • Money markets investing: Yu’e Bao
    • Small & Micro Financial Services Group
  • Education
    • English tutoring: TutorGroup
  • Travel
    • Travel portal: Taobao Travel
    • Travel deals: Qyer
    • Journal app: 117go (like Instagram, but exclusively for travel)
    • Visa services: ByeCity
  • Retail Logistics
    • Appliances and logistics: Haier
    • Stores: Goodaymart
    • Department stores: Intime
  • Cloud Computing
    • Cloud services: Aliyun, Alicloud
    • Cloud storage: Kanbox
With all this fire-power and a business that last year processed $519B in payments and in one day saw $5.8B in transactions, it won’t be long before Alibaba starts building a serious presence in the US.

Alibaba lands in the US

Since early 2013, Alibaba has made numerous acquisitions and investments, including:
  • 11 Main, a US online retail site
  • 1stdibs, a luxury e-commerce site
  • ShopRunner, a storefront-based online shopping platform
  • Quixey, a mobile search company
  • Fanatics, a sports e-commerce company
  • Lyft, a US ride-sharing app that’s one of the main competitors to Uber
DataFox’s similarity-inference algorithm suggests that these companies could be next to see their turf encroached on by Alibaba’s far-reaching tentacles:

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Investment Advice Disclaimer The information contained in this post, while intended to interest investors, does not constitute investing advice or services. Future trends and predictions contained herein are derived from industry news and public information. These “forward looking-statements” are speculative, subject to risks and uncertainties, and are not guaranteed. Actual results may vary. Potential investing decisions should be made by consulting a professional legal, tax, investing or accounting professional, where risks and suitability can be throughly evaluated. DataFox makes no obligation to update or revise any of the statements contained herein.