While many commentators are describing the Alibaba IPO unfolding on Wall Street today (September, 18) as the emergence of the “Chinese Amazon,” BlueSnap CEO Ralph Dangelmaier and economist Vanessa Zhang of the Global Economics Group agree that Alibaba is quite a bit more than that.
Both quickly pointed out in their pre-IPO conversations with MPD CEO Karen Webster that while its e-commerce and online payment functions are most easily understood by American audiences in terms of their U.S. counter parts Amazon or eBay, Alibaba is much, much more than an e-commerce experience for its hundreds of millions of online users.
What Alibaba will do next with the $25 billion dollars it has been projected to raise later today remains to be seen. Dangelmaier seems to think expansion to the consumers worldwide is forthcoming, while Dr. Zhang thinks they are more likely in the short term to develop their Chinese core market and develop internationally by appealing to the Chinese consumer abroad.
What all of the experts seems to agree on, however, is that Alibaba, and the ecosystem it represents, is only going to get bigger, stronger and more influential from today forward.
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