Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has abandoned its $11 billion cloud business spinoff and public listing plans, citing the escalating US-China technological rivalry.
Chairman Joseph Tsai and CEO Eddie Wu, acknowledging the need for a “reset,” pointed to the increasing US restrictions on chip sales to China as a driving factor in the decision.
Wu emphasized the imperative to provide “cash to make investments” in the AI-driven landscape, requiring a robust and highly scaled infrastructure.
Wall Street responded swiftly to the surprise move, with Alibaba’s shares plummeting 9.1% in New York trading, wiping out over $20 billion of market value, marking their most substantial drop in over a year.
The decision comes amid Alibaba’s efforts to recover from the pandemic, navigate China’s tech industry crackdown, and compete with emerging players like PDD Holdings and ByteDance’s Douyin.
The Biden administration’s stringent export controls on chips critical for Alibaba’s cloud services, designed for AI use, played a pivotal role.
The cloud business, essential for Alibaba’s AI initiatives, faces challenges due to the US sanctions impacting chip supplies.
Instead of the spinoff, Alibaba will focus on organic growth for the cloud unit and issue its inaugural annual dividend of $2.5 billion.
This surprising move reflects the challenges posed by US-China tensions and underscores the complexities Chinese tech giants face in navigating global geopolitical issues.
“The strength of the business itself is an issue.” – Li Chengdong, Head of Haitun Technology Think Tank.
“The market is scratching its head. The first annual dividend looks like compensation to shareholders.
However, it may not fully offset the shock given the higher value of the cloud unit.” – Willer Chen, Research Analyst at Forsyth Barr Asia.
Alibaba Faces Rare Downgrade as PDD Surpasses It in Market Value
Jumia Nigeria Launches 2023 Black Friday Event: ‘Let Your Pocket Breathe’
Jumia Nigeria, the leading e-commerce platform, has officially unveiled its highly anticipated 2023 Black Friday shopping event, bearing the theme ‘Let Your Pocket Breathe.’
This year’s campaign serves as a resolute declaration of Jumia’s unwavering commitment to assisting consumers in accessing top-quality products at the best prices despite the challenging inflation.
The Black Friday event, which has become a beloved tradition among Nigerians, was first introduced by Jumia in Nigeria and Africa in 2014.
It has continued to gain widespread popularity, significantly contributing to the nationwide adoption of e-commerce while reaffirming Jumia’s dedication to providing a convenient and reliable online shopping experience.
Commencing on Friday, November 3rd, 2023, and running through Thursday, November 30th, 2023, the month-long shopping extravaganza promises massive discounts across a wide array of product categories, spanning electronics, smartphones, fashion, beauty, home appliances, and much more.
In addition to offering exciting discounts, this year’s Jumia Black Friday is being conducted in collaboration with prominent brands, including Xiaomi, Diageo, Oraimo, Nivea, Adidas, Haier Thermocool, Pernod Ricard, Chi Limited, Infinix, Tecno, Bacardi, Defacto, LeDrop, Binatone, and Itel.
Massimiliano Spalazzi, CEO of Jumia Nigeria, expressed his enthusiasm for the campaign, emphasizing its theme of financial freedom for consumers: “We are thrilled to commence our annual Black Friday event, a shopping event that has become a staple in the hearts of Nigerians. We fully understand the constraints faced by today’s consumers – the desire for quality products that are still affordable. This year’s theme reflects our unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional deals to our cherished consumers, granting them the freedom to enjoy top-tier products and services without straining their finances. As we embark on the 10th edition of our Black Friday campaign, we are delighted to have partnered with some of the most renowned household brands and small and medium-sized enterprises to deliver the best offers to consumers.”
The Black Friday campaign will feature various engaging activities, including Treasure Hunts, Brand Days, Flash Sales, and Jumia Games, offering consumers the chance to win exciting prizes and unlock additional discounts on a variety of products.
Furthermore, the event will offer free shipping to consumers within select cities, including Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, Warri, Benin, Abeokuta, Akure, and Port Harcourt.
Jumia’s Black Friday initiative has emerged as a vital element in propelling e-commerce adoption in Nigeria, and this year’s event promises to continue this trend by connecting millions of consumers with unbeatable deals, reinforcing the platform’s status as the go-to destination for convenient and cost-effective online shopping.
Africa’s Online Shopper Set to Reach 600 Million by 2027 – GSMA Report
A recent report jointly released by the GSM Association (GSMA) and the UK’s Department for Business and Trade has shed light on the growing impact of e-commerce on micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across Africa.
The report, unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Kigali, emphasizes the potential of e-commerce to boost new markets, profitability, and resilience for MSMEs.
Despite the continent’s progress in improving connectivity and mobile technology adoption among both businesses and consumers, online retail in Africa still accounts for a lower proportion of total retail sales compared to other regions globally.
The report highlights that while the number of online shoppers in Africa is on the rise, there is immense room for growth. In 2022, only an estimated 400 million out of 1.4 billion people on the continent used e-commerce services.
However, market forecasts indicate a promising future with an expected surge in online shoppers to 600 million by 2027 in Africa.
To better understand the dynamics, the report is based on interviews with 1,500 MSMEs engaged in e-commerce in countries such as Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. The findings also incorporate insights from experts in these countries, as well as Rwanda, Senegal, and Tanzania.
The research aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the market to help MSMEs harness the digital opportunity while assisting donors and development partners in designing more effective interventions to support MSMEs in Africa.
Among the challenges identified in the report are limited financial resources, a shortage of digital skills, regulatory gaps, underdeveloped legislation, low adoption of digital payments, and logistical complexities, including unreliable delivery systems.
Smartphone penetration remains limited in some areas, contributing to low digital literacy and trust issues in online purchases.
As a response, the report suggests various recommendations to boost e-commerce in Africa, such as offering financial products and reskilling support for MSMEs, improving connectivity, making smartphones more affordable, reviewing and clarifying policies and laws, shifting towards digital payments, and enhancing reliable and affordable delivery and transport systems.
The report also highlights the role of women in e-commerce and suggests targeted interventions to further support their businesses.
Overall, the report underscores the potential of e-commerce to drive digital transformation, cross-border trade, and entrepreneurship in Africa and calls for collaborative efforts to address challenges and promote growth in this sector.
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