Alibaba’s secret to bringing Asia to the world

Alibaba is positioning itself as one of the main connections for e-commerce in Japan, serving as a reference point for customers and sellers between Asia and the rest of the world. By building a bridge between China, Japan and the American continent, Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, also became one of the richest people in the world.

In May 2008, Alibaba announced its intentions to step up its operations in Japan - China's largest trading partner - and launched Alibaba.com Japan. The training was carried out jointly with Softbank, a large and diversified Japanese telecommunications and media corporation.

In doing so, Alibaba opened the doors of the Japanese market to the rest of the world, allowing its customers to have access to all kinds of goods from Japan, from everyday items to the extravagant, and setting aside the differences between Japan and China. . Today, Alibaba is consolidated as one of the most successful companies in the world, after several years of hard work.

Alibaba's secret to bringing Asia to the world
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How did Alibaba become so big?

Jack Ma's success story is one of hard work and vision for the future, because, after starting to earn money by teaching English classes for US$14 per month, he became one of the richest men in the world. Jack Ma is reportedly the first to launch a commercial website in China.

In September 1995, chinapages.com, a directory of companies, went live and after ten years, Jack Ma made it one of the most successful Internet companies in China, and thus managed to enter the Forbes list of billionaires by accumulate a fortune of US$39 billion over the 10-year period according to Betway Casino (between 35 and 45 years old), and putting his name alongside great personalities, such as Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg or Larry Ellison, who they also worked hard to build their path to success by globalizing their businesses.

In the case of Alibaba, Jack Ma decided to hire foreign experts to help the company go global. The Alibaba model was wisely anticipated about the market situation, as it was only after the year 2000 that Internet penetration in China started to become significant and the total export volume also grew significantly.

Alibaba's secret to bringing Asia to the world
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To be internationally successful, Alibaba was first successful in the Chinese domestic market, and in 2003, Alibaba launched Taobao, which is now the largest online shopping market for consumers in China. After Taobao was created, it didn't take long before in 2005 it overtook its U.S. rival, eBay, as a leader in the consumer-to-consumer market in China. In addition, Alibaba launched the Alimama, the largest advertising exchange platform China's online payment system, and Alipay, China's leading online payment service.

Alibaba's initial business model was simple; to facilitate a 24/7 meeting platform (functioning as an online Konbini) for suppliers and buyers worldwide. From the beginning, Alibaba not only connected Chinese suppliers with international buyers, but also aimed to connect all importers and exporters worldwide. In doing so, it became the first global Internet company to emerge from China.

Despite skeptics and fierce competition, the global model in which buyers use the site for free and sellers pay, proved to be quite viable: currently, the Alibaba has more than 552 million users registered in more than 200 countries and territories.

Alibaba's secret to bringing Asia to the world
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Unlike most other Internet companies, language was not a barrier to Alibaba. Its membership base always communicated in English even before Alibaba reached the American market, so its non-English members were already used to communicating in a different language.

Alibaba basically functions as a matchmaker and provides a cheap and efficient platform where sellers from around the world - in practice, mainly China - can find suitable foreign buyers and vice versa.

The future of Alibaba

Alibaba is expanding its operations to markets beyond eCommerce, successfully investing in areas such as Cloud computing and services (Alibaba Cloud), Entertainment (AliMusic, Alibaba Pictures), Fintech and online payment platforms (Alipay), Artificial Intelligence (AliGenie) and even sports (AliSports), being the main sponsor of the FIFA Club World Cup from 2015 to 2022.

Alibaba's secret to bringing Asia to the world
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Alibaba's vision for the future is to use its ecosystem (core business, cloud, logistics, entertainment and physical locations) to support the “New Five” strategy that empowers individuals, small and medium-sized companies, farmers and companies of all sizes to do business globally. Jack Ma explains his idea of the “New Five” as New Retail, New Finance, New Manufacturing, New Technology and New Energy.

The implications for the future of the Asian and Chinese economy and technologies, as a leader in global free trade, are enormous, as Alibaba is shaping the future of eCommerce, global consumption and supply chains.

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