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June 16, 2011 AT 4:56 pm

Alibaba to split, not IPO, e-commerce unit Taobao

Pt 101126

Alibaba to split, not IPO, e-commerce unit Taobao

Alibaba Group said on Thursday it has reorganized Taobao, China’s largest e-commerce website, into three separate companies, squashing any chance of a Taobao public offering.
The move to split Taobao comes as Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma grapples with its major shareholders, Yahoo Inc and Japan’s Softbank, over ownership of Alipay, another of the group’s crown jewels. Taobao had 70 percent of all online sales transacted in China in the first quarter of the year and has been valued by Goldman Sachs at about $7 billion. The firm will be split effective from Thursday into three companies, namely its product search engine eTao, business-to-consumer website Taobao Mall and consumer-to-consumer website Taobao.com.

See our previous Alibaba write up here.


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3 Comments

  1. Can’t say I’ve ever used Taobao. I use the B2B platform all the time but never the B2C. Aside from anything, I can’t read Chinese, so it wouldn’t be long before I hit a brick wall.

  2. Taobao is MISSING a major opportunity by NOT embracing translation technology. As it is today, if you don’t read Mandarin (many if not most Chinese speakers also do not), you can’t really use Taobao without a shady “Agent” in the middle.

    Sooner than later, someone will wake up and make the Chinese market open to non-Chinese speakers/readers using technology. That will be HUGE.

    Plus, those spending years learning Chinese as a second language will be proven to be wasting much of their time. (Real time augmented reality audio/video translation is on the near horizon).

  3. @drone – how is it a waste of time to learn a language that over a 1/3rd of the world uses?

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