Alibaba Reorganizes its Global, Domestic eCommerce Business

A trifecta of changes — new competition, a sluggish economy and continued regulatory pressures — has China’s Alibaba revamping its eCommerce businesses and appointing a new chief financial officer (CFO).

In a move to become more agile and rev up expansion, Alibaba is splitting its eCommerce business into two divisions — international digital commerce and China digital commerce, Reuters reported on Monday (Dec. 6).

Jiang Fan, who headed the company’s central retail marketplaces in China, will lead the international digital commerce unit, which includes AliExpress, Lazada and While AliExpress primarily sells to retail buyers in Europe and South America, Lazada and concentrate on global business clients.

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The change aligns with Alibaba’s focus on making globalization a central tenet as well as cloud computing and consumer spending in China, according to the report.

Hong Kong-based Guotai Junan analyst Danny Law told Reuters that globalization helps on two fronts during China’s intense time of supervision — getting Alibaba a fresh flow of external traffic, and attracting new growth prospects.

Tmall and Taobao, Alibaba’s central marketplaces, will comprise China’s digital commerce division, which will be headed by Trudy Dai, who has experience heading up other Alibaba platforms. Tmall is for already-established brands, while Taobao is for all retailers.

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Dai will also lead Alibaba’s community eCommerce service Taocaicai, Taobao Deals, and retail management platform Lingshoutong, analyst Xiaoyan Wang told Reuters.

Deputy chief financial officer Toby Xu will succeed Maggie Wu as CFO. Xu came to Alibaba in 2018 from PWC.

Facing a weaker economy with more rivals amid increasing regulatory intervention, Alibaba lowered its annual revenue growth forecast to the lowest point since the company went public seven years ago. The company has also faced record fines in April over its dominant market position.

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