David Wei, chief executive of Alibaba.com, the world’s largest online marketplace for trade between companies, is close to an acquisition in China. Our illustration is of the founder, Alibaba’s CEO Ma Yun.
David Wei said, “We are relatively close to making an announcement in the coming months” on mergers and acquisitions. He added the target was “not global”, suggesting that Alibaba is in talks with a company in its home market.
Alibaba also said it was in partnership talks with a number of companies in the United States.
All of this is part of a continued aggressive expansion drive by Alibaba as it tries to sell its services to small and medium-sized businesses who are turning to e-commerce in the global economic crisis.
Alibaba started an intensive marketing push late last year to take advantage of the crisis and said it would sacrifice some profits over the coming two years to pick up new business. Over the past half year, Alibaba signed up marketing partners in six countries.
Alibaba said its net profit fell 34.2% to RMB260.7m ($38m) in the second quarter compared with the same period a year earlier. The drop was within expectations, as the company had previously said that it would continue to re-invest profits as part of the ongoing marketing campaign.
Revenues gained 23.6% year on year to RMB908.3m.
The Financial Times points out that Yahoo owns a 39% stake in Alibaba Group, the parent of Alibaba.com, the Hong Kong-listed entity. Alibaba Group also operates Taobao, a consumer-driven online shopping service in China, and Yahoo China.