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Alibaba Wants to be Bigger Than Walmart
By: Cindy Wendland
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IPOs are exciting! Alibaba’s IPO on the NYSE on Friday was exhilarating! If you were a hedge fund or institutional investor, it was even better, as you were able to buy shares for $68 while the stock opened on Friday morning at $92.70. Alibaba raised $21.8 billion compared to Facebook’s $16 billion. CEO Jack Ma says he wants to be bigger than Walmart.

While many companies attempt to emulate Wal-Mart, Ma’s Alibaba has what many people see as an interesting business model that may have a chance. Alibaba doesn’t own merchandise but instead matches up buyers and sellers, which has some similarity to Amazon. Alibaba is far more profitable than Amazon comparing sales and profits ($5.4B sales to $1.1B profit versus Amazon’s $74.4B sales to $274M profit). There is something to be learned from Alibaba here.

Alibaba has been campaigning for some time in the U.S., proclaiming their strengths. Chinese companies have not always been highly trusted, so Alibaba will have to overcome that issue to continue their growth. There is also concern over how Alibaba will secure customer data given all the privacy breaches that have already occurred with local, highly respected companies.

Alibaba’s secure Internet cloud platform is quite amazing, however, as is the number of transactions they handle on a daily basis. Perhaps something else can be learned from their data security methods.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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