Alibaba.com is separating the management of its domestic and international marketplaces and stepping up cooperation with sister company Taobao.com.
Does all this mean something? Yes.
The opposition is waking up to the potential of the Chinese market and are wading in mob-handed. Alibaba and Taobao has to protect market share.
David Wei, chief executive officer of Alibaba.com and seen in our illustration, announced the changes in a memo.
Alibaba.com’s main source of revenue is its international marketplace, which connects mostly small Chinese exporters with overseas buyers. It also runs a domestic marketplace that helps Chinese companies connect with domestic suppliers. It needs to enlarge one and solidify its position in the other.
David Wei remains as chief executive and also serve as acting head of the domestic marketplace. Elvis Lee, who was hired as chief operating officer in February, will head the international division.
Online WSJ reports that for the past few years, the search landscape in China has been dominated by Baidu and Google.
These two search engines account for 61.6% and 29.1% of the search market, respectively. However, a number of new entrants have appeared like Soso, from Tencent; Youdao, from NetEase; and Bing, the new engine from Microsoft.
The search-engine market in China reached $199.8 million during the first quarter of 2009, up 46% from the same quarter last year.
Advertisers are increasingly shifting ad budgets online, which means more growth is expected. And there are more and more internet users. This all makes it a market well worth fighting for.
Advertising Age covers this in great detail but states it is too early to draw conclusions about who will win or lose.