这篇文章是我们在2017年为加拿大安大略省皇后大学的客户创作的一篇关于strategy management的essay，以STRATEGY MANAGEMENT LEADERSHIP为题，分析阿里巴巴的strategy management形式，全文4000字，introduction部分简洁明了，同时有理有据，节选如下。
Alibaba Group is an e-commerce company founded by Jack Ma and 17 other founders in December 1999. As its slogan said, global trade starts here. It is a leading market platform for cross-border wholesale trades, which serving millions of suppliers and buyers across the world (UNA, 2015). This commercial empire starts with the website Alibaba.com, a web portal that could connect Chinese manufacturers with overseas buyers, providing business-to-business, business-to-consumer and consumer-to-consumer sales services. Moreover, it also develops business in electronic services and data-centric cloud computing. There are seven subsidiaries consists of the Alibaba Group, including Alibaba.com, Ali software, Alimama, Ali institute, Tabobao.com and Yahoo China till the end of 2014 (Baidu.baike, 2014). The operational headquarter now is located in the eastern city, Hangzhou.
As the biggest E-Commerce company in the world, Alibaba went public on September 2014. It provides services in the fields between exporters and importers in more than 240 countries and regions. The company issued stocks at the price of HK$13.5 at the year of 2007. After that, Alibaba raised about 21.8 billion dollars and becoming the first Internet company who has the biggest initial public offering sale (Bloomberg, 2014). Moreover, Alibaba’s total market value is estimated to be around $231 billion and surpass many U.S. technology giants including Facebook, Amazon or eBay. Alibaba is the pioneer of Chinese e-commerce retail, making it possible for thousands of small enterprises to sell products directly to their target customer with nearly zero operation fees (Wang, 2010). According to the reports from economist in 2013, Alibaba’s subsidiaries taobao.com and T-mall reached a turnover up to 170 billion dollars; and the generated gross merchandise volume could equal to Amazon and eBay combined (Wikipedia, 2013). More than that, their profits and online sales surmount all the retailers in US in the year of 2015. The picture below (Figure 1) illustrated the gross merchandise volume of Alibaba together with its market share (The Economist, 2013). Since 2005, the corporation has made lots of acquisition and investment over other companies, 26 large-scale firms have been acquired in order to get better access to the websites’ user base. The latest data from McKinsey Global Institute represent that, unlike America, where over 76% consumers would do their shopping in the department store or physical shops, while the proportion in China is only 10%. That means, the rest of the customers would choose to shop online. This situation greatly contributed to the development of the e-commerce business in China. Under this circumstance, Alibaba was reported to have captured nearly 80% of the online sales across the country and contributed over 60% parcels delivered in China at the year of 2013 and 2014 (Lianna, 2014). More than that, Alipay, the online payment escrow service of Alibaba group, took over almost half of the online payment transactions in China and still intend to expanding its influence over the worldwide. Until May 2017, Alibaba Group’s market capitalization has grown to nearly $295 billion dollars (CNN Money, 2017).
It is believed that, the market would progress with the development of technology. Although innovations of some new technology would bring destructiveness to the traditional industry, the contribution of technology could not be ignored. The coming of information era and the developing of internet created a wider space for e-commerce. This new internet selling model was accepted and used by more and more consumers. At the other hand, with the revolution of network searching technology and the customers’ using behaviour, these new phenomena create a big cross area than ever before. Which means, threats and challenges might come from the searching engines such as Baidu, Google and etc. Because when people search for the feedbacks of some certain products online, these searching engines could guide people’s attention and lead them to the relative shopping website, which would probably affect their decision making greatly. So Baidu, the biggest searching engine website who occupies over 70% of the market share, has always been regarded as a huge potential competitor for Alibaba. Except from that, technology also bring problems about the security of e-commerce. Although the business environment of e-commerce has been improved, challenges still exists from the traditional transaction habits and the dependence of security technology. It could be assumed that, in order to keep the competitiveness in the future, Alibaba should put more efforts in professional maintenance personnel and regulating the security management system. Otherwise, the lack of sufficient security solution would lead to network information flaw and greatly affect the future of the e-commerce business.