In 2014, the UCWeb, one of China’s most popular browsers and Youku, the Chinese version of YouTube was acquired by the giant e-commerce Alibaba for a whooping amount of $2 billion and $5 billion, respectively.
The China Director at Technology research firm, Nicole Peng said, “Alibaba is aggressive — they want to literally build an online society to match wherever the consumer is consuming offline, whatever you can do offline, you can do online too — that’s such a big thing.”
Peng also pointed out, Alibaba’s investments are designed to feed each other and provide a closed loop of products and services, delivering a seamless experience for the customer in every step of the way.
The fields in e-commerce, communications, entertainment, and financial services aren’t established yet in China compare to US, but Alibaba grab these opportunities as technology are designed to make it more indispensable for Chinese consumers.
According to data provider Dealogic, Alibaba has spent between $30 and $40 billion on over 100 investments of veering ambitious acquisitions since 2010. Reaching up to 47 acquisition deals valued at $23.9 billion in 2014.
Alibaba has become one of the Chinese tech firms eager to broaden its reach through acquisitions.
In some cases, Alibaba has also invested in the same areas as its rivals, as competition heats up to grab more market share.
Just this year, Alibaba spent $1 billion to buy the promising dominant e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia, Lazada.
Mr. Duncan Clark, Chairman of consulting firm BDA China, and served as an early adviser to Alibaba said, “They’re in land-grab mentality now, and Alibaba are also buying while they can.”
Meanwhile, Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, and the Group Holding Executive Chairman, denied that their building an empire.
In an interview with Beijing-based newspaper, Mr. Ma told journalists, “Empires must rob and conquer, they must charge ahead and fight hard. How many empires had good endings?”