Alibaba’s Big US Dream
Alibaba is composed of several core businesses and is often described as a hybrid of Amazon, PayPal and eBay in China. Some of these include:
-an e-commerce platform for small businesses and entrepreneurs
-sells name-brand goods from businesses to consumers
In 2012, Taobao and Tmall websites transaction volumes totaled more than Amazon and eBay’s combined. These two sites account for about half of all package deliveries in China.
Alibaba’s other core businesses include-
– a site for wholesale buyers and sellers; and
– An online and mobile payment service
Alibaba’s IP Strategy
The company has plans to expand into the U.S. market and is doing so through mergers & acquisitions instead of establishing its brand. Else in US, it will have to face fierce competition and the cultural barriers.
Thus, the company lately began a string of investments in the United States.
It invested in the following companies:
-inShopRunner, an e-commerce company that offers a rival to Amazon’s Prime free-shipping service,
-Lyft, a ride-sharing service
Alibaba is also expected to be filing papers for its planned U.S. IPO. It’s eventual IPO is expected to be one of the biggest in history. It wouldn’t be surprising if it exceeded the combined amounts raised in the I.P.O.s of #Facebook, #Twitter, #Google, #Amazon, #AOL and #Yahoo.
Alibaba is also trying to intensify its patent holdings in the U.S. ahead of its initial public offerings. Much recently, it has attained nearly 102 U.S. patents, which includes 20 procurements from IBM Corp. The company has itself filed for 300 patents in technology sectors such as Payment processing, Product recommendations and Picture searches. This is indeed a clever step so that its competitors do not impede its market entry and it’s IPO. Big shots like Google Inc., Facebook Inc., and Twitter had to face many such impediments when they were at the verge of their IPO filing.
Note: Initial public offerings are used by companies to raise expansion capital, to possibly monetize the investments of early private investors, and to become publicly traded enterprises.
Alibaba Patents – In the U.S., the company filed for
a. 50 patent applications in 2011,
b. 85 patent applications in 2012 and
c. 104 patent applications in 2013
Some exemplary patents filed by Alibaba in US
a. File folder transmission on network US 20130275478 A1
b. Generating ranked search results using linear and nonlinear ranking models US8346765 B2
c. Method and system for identifying suspected phishing websites US 8621616 B2
d. Method and system for saving database storage space US 8126850 B2
e. Determining transaction status information corresponding to instant messaging contact persons US 20140046805 A1
Alibaba also holds more than 1,900 issued and pending patent applications in the Asian Market.
Other Chinese Internet firms eyeing IPOs in US
a. Weibo Corp., a microblogging company
b. JD.com: a B2C online retailer from China
c. Tuniu.com: e-commerce travel company
Earlier in 2003, there were only 424 patents issued to China based companies but in 2013 the inventors based in China received 6,597 U.S. patents which is the sixth highest of any non-U.S. country, according to patent office. Thus, we are witnessing that companies in China have started developing a sense for the western standards of intellectual property and want to capture the U.S. market.