Alibaba and the elephant in the room

Alibaba peopleAlibaba, Alibaba: it’s a word that’s increasingly on people’s lips. Certainly, it’s a pleasing name: playful to pronounce and universally recognisable, evoking something at once known and foreign.

But, beyond talking about the Chinese e-commerce giant’s IPO (which claimed the title of largest global IPO ever) and how successful the start-up from southern China has been, we hear far less said about why. Continue reading

Flipkart and Tencent – The jewels in Naspers’ crown

Flipkart and Tencent became household names several years ago in two of the world’s fastest growing economies, India and China. But more recently, their staggering growth rates and innovation in the mobile sphere have forced the rest of the world to sit up and pay attention. Some say that their strength in the market is a direct offshoot of their robust parentage – which, similarly, has only become widespread knowledge since the two firms’ growth began gaining a global audience. The South Africa-based media and tech juggernaut, Naspers, is a major shareholder in Flipkart – India’s Amazon – and Tencent, which owns China’s gamified Whatsapp-Facebook hybrid, WeChat. Naspers, which is one of the largest companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, recently began garnering plenty of attention of its own when the value of its stocks reached a record high earlier this month, taking its market capitalisation to R709.7 billion ($60.4 billion).  Continue reading