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Alibaba Split: The World’s Largest E-commerce Split Into 6 Amid Chinese Crackdown



Alibaba CEO Jack Ma gestures as he is introduced to participate in a panel discussion at the APEC CEO Summit in Manila

Alibaba, the world’s largest e-commerce company, on Tuesday announced plans to split into six units that operate independently with different Chief Executive Directors and fundraising capabilities.

As the most capitalised and diversified e-commerce platform, Alibaba is known for its ability to innovate and adjust to changes in market conditions.

However, while the move is being hailed as the “most significant governance overhaul in the platform company’s 24-year history” and is believed to help Alibaba stay agile in the face of an ever-changing business landscape, the decision may not be unconnected to the Chinese government crackdown on private businesses in recent years.

In 2020, the Chinese government revamped its regulation to better cover fintech and other online companies operating within the country. This took into consideration monopolistic behaviours and unchecked growth due to anti-competition strategies that made it impossible for smaller businesses to compete with giants like Alibaba, Didi and others.

The government had claimed the exponential growth was a result of limited to no regulatory scrutiny that allowed the tech industry to grow significantly into traditional and emerging sectors. As a result, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) imposed a US$2.8 billion fine on Alibaba and US$530 million on Meituan in 2021 after an investigation revealed the monopolistic nature of the two.

China immediately announced a new policy and introduced new privacy laws that check cross-border data transfer of tech businesses with huge global customers. Also, laws were enacted to check the gaming industry and prohibited certain content online.

All these were interpreted by the western world as a crackdown on private businesses and a strategy to eventually split them up, especially coming a few days after Jack Ma’s now famous comment on the Chinese government’s attitude toward businesses and his eventual disappearance from public space for over a year.

Alibaba’s stock price dropped by over two-thirds in 2021 while Didi’s online app was suspended for suspected violation of the country’s cybersecurity law and eventually lost over 80 percent of its IPO. was down by 25 percent in 2022 when compared to the previous year.

Jack Ma returned to China on Monday after spending more than a year traveling across the Asia Pacific to announce the world’s largest e-commerce company is splitting into six new units and will operate independently.

According to the company, under the new structure, the business groups will be organized around Alibaba’s six strategic priorities.

These include the Cloud Intelligence Group

To be led by the current CEO Daniel Zhang and will focus on the company’s cloud and artificial intelligence activities.

While Taobao Tmall Commerce Group covers Alibaba’s online shopping platforms.

The Local Services Group which will be led by Yu Yongfu and will cover the company’s food delivery service and its mapping services.

Cainiao Smart Logistics, this will be led by Wan Lin and will focus on Alibaba’s logistics services.

Global Digital Commerce Group to be led by Jiang Fan and will focus on the company’s international e-commerce businesses.

Fan Luyuan will be CEO of Digital Media and Entertainment Group unit which includes Alibaba’s streaming and movie business.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq,, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Jumia Plans Warehouse Consolidation in Lagos Amid Nigeria Focus



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Jumia Technologies AG, the Nasdaq-listed e-commerce giant, has unveiled plans to consolidate its warehouses in Nigeria.

This decision is part of the company’s broader strategy to prioritize Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation as it endeavors to turn profitable amidst challenging market conditions.

The consolidation initiative will see Jumia merging its three existing warehouses in Nigeria into a single expansive depot spanning 30,000 square meters, strategically located in Lagos.

Francis Dufay, CEO of Jumia, emphasized the cost-cutting benefits associated with this move, highlighting the company’s commitment to optimizing its operational efficiency.

Speaking about the rationale behind the consolidation, Dufay expressed confidence in Nigeria’s potential to provide Jumia with the scale needed to achieve profitability.

Despite facing headwinds such as currency fluctuations and a challenging economic environment, Jumia views Nigeria as a key market for growth, anticipating positive developments in the medium term.

Jumia’s decision to streamline its operations in Nigeria comes against the backdrop of its ongoing efforts to navigate the complexities of the e-commerce landscape.

Despite reporting an operating loss of $8.33 million in the first quarter of the year, the company remains optimistic about its prospects in Nigeria, where it continues to witness steady revenue growth.

The e-commerce giant’s commitment to Nigeria underscores its long-term vision and determination to succeed in the region.

With plans to expand its footprint to additional cities across the country, Jumia aims to capitalize on Nigeria’s vast market potential and consumer demand.

However, Jumia’s journey to profitability in Nigeria is not without its challenges. The country’s economic landscape has been marred by currency devaluations, infrastructural deficiencies, and logistical hurdles.

Yet, amidst these obstacles, Jumia remains resilient, banking on Nigeria’s economic revival efforts and policy reforms to fuel its growth trajectory.

As part of its strategy to adapt to evolving market dynamics, Jumia has introduced innovative initiatives such as buy-now-pay-later financing options to cater to customers grappling with rising prices.

Also, the company remains vigilant in monitoring pricing dynamics, ensuring competitive pricing to meet the needs of price-conscious consumers.

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Alibaba Eyes Gulf Expansion, Seeks Partnerships in Saudi and UAE Markets



Alibaba CEO Jack Ma gestures as he is introduced to participate in a panel discussion at the APEC CEO Summit in Manila

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., the prominent Chinese e-commerce giant, is actively pursuing expansion into the Gulf region, notably in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Alibaba’s president, Michael Evans, revealed the company’s strategy during a panel discussion at Dubai’s World Government Summit, highlighting a commitment to local partnerships as a key aspect of their approach.

Evans underscored Alibaba’s recent endeavors in Saudi Arabia, indicating a concerted effort to deepen its presence in the region’s burgeoning e-commerce landscape.

The move signifies Alibaba’s strategic pivot towards collaborative ventures following a period of strategic realignment prompted by government scrutiny and leadership changes.

The Gulf’s growing ties with China, driven by mutual economic interests and investment diversification initiatives, present an opportune moment for Alibaba’s expansion efforts.

However, geopolitical complexities, including heightened US scrutiny of China-linked entities, add a layer of challenge to Alibaba’s Gulf aspirations.

As Alibaba seeks to reclaim its leadership position in the global tech industry, the pursuit of partnerships in Saudi Arabia and the UAE underscores the company’s adaptive approach to international expansion.

The success of these ventures could potentially reshape the Gulf’s e-commerce landscape and deepen economic ties between the region and China.

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Shoprite Shuts Down Kano Branch Due to Financial Challenges and Unfavorable Business Climate




Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited, the owners of the renowned Shoprite Mall, announced the closure of its Kano branch, located in the Ado Bayero Mall, effective January 14, 2024.

The decision was conveyed through a circular signed by the supermarket’s management, attributing the shutdown to the current financial strain experienced by the mall in the state and the challenging business climate prevailing in Nigeria.

The circular expressed regret over the necessity of the decision, hinting at the impending layoff of all employees associated with the Kano branch.

While the closure raises concerns about the impact on the local workforce, underlying factors contributing to the move have been brought to light.

Among the primary reasons for the planned relocation is the exorbitant monthly rent of N66 million paid by Shoprite to Ado Bayero Mall.

Also, the supermarket bears the cost of independent electricity from the Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO), along with expenses for fueling and maintaining its standby generator.

When considering these substantial costs alongside staff salaries and other operational expenditures, the total financial burden becomes staggering, exceeding N1 billion annually.

Several sources within the mall have attested to a decline in customer patronage over the past two years, mainly attributed to the economic downturn affecting the purchasing power of the average Kano resident.

Shop owners within Ado Bayero Mall voiced concerns about the high cost of leasing space, with some revealing quarterly fees ranging from N3 million to N4.5 million.

The closure of Shoprite in Kano not only poses challenges for employees facing job uncertainties but also raises questions about the sustainability of businesses surrounding the mall.

Concerns about the impact on neighboring plazas and enterprises have prompted intervention efforts, with Deputy Senate President Barau Jibrin scheduled to meet with Shoprite’s management in a bid to prevent the exit and explore potential solutions.

As Kano braces for the repercussions of Shoprite’s departure, the incident underscores broader challenges facing businesses amid Nigeria’s economic realities.

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