Now that Jack Ma is not as involved in the daily runnings of the world's largest e-commerce platform, he has some time to relax and enjoy life as a squillionaire. However, Sir Ma is not taking any time off and is spearheading the Chinese Philanthropic Society.
China donating to America
Indeed, the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences is a bursary of sorts handed out to groundbreaking scientists working in scientific fields aimed at curing lifelong diseases around the world.
There are 6 awards to be won worth $3 million each. But beware, the money is not to be squandered on online shopping but should be used to fund the research and the equipment needed to do so.
A new phase of China's growing influence
Obviously, all of us here have known for some years that Chinese founders of major companies are clearly the new leaders of tomorrow. China is capable of producing original and solid products aswell as services (Wechat anyone?) to the same level as those offered in the West.
Beyond that, South East Asia is now the fastest growing market for smartphone sales which also leads to a growing pool of tech inventors, creators and marketers hoping to push their region to become as dynamic as the US.
Jack Ma as the new face of China?
How does this link to Jack Ma's new endeavor? Well it shows to the rest of the world that not only does China have the cash to fund these sorts of initiatives, but it is willing to partake in using exhaustive personal wealth for the advancement of science and global health.
Although it is policy makers who in the end make the decisions about where the country will go, we cannot hide from the fact that businesspeople and public figures have as much of an influence on the country's image as politicians do. Mark Zuckerberg (who is, incidentally, also one of the sponsors of this prize) is famous all over the world, as is the late Steve Jobs. Perhaps in a few years everybody will recognize the face of Jack Ma and what he represents.
Tech as the future of China and the region?
Although everyone's favorite game is to announce the demise of China as it falls into a deeper circle of hell along with North Korea, there is an overlook at how much creativity is coming out of these borders. The tech giants and smaller start-ups could be the drive to get the region over the difficult transitions its going through.There will be no downfall anytime soon and the current tech scene is enough to illustrate this point.
One of the largest e-commerce sites in the world, Taobao has been extremely popular in China since its launch a few years ago. It has now been planning its regional expansion by moving southwards to the money bags of Singapore and the rest of South East Asia.
More expansion for Taobao
What about postage?
The future of the Alibaba Empire
NEWS FLASH: Sina Weibo has passed its peak, much in the same way Nokia has…some may claim.
500 million users doing what?
Where are the people?
Changing social trends
Only when one lives in China does one understand the true importance of being able to purchase train tickets online. Many of us in the world take buying our train tickets online for granted where it has been normalized for many years now (although I still have my reservations about National Rail as an efficient company but more on that later).
Train tickets in China
Alibaba's foray into new e-commerce.
The great Alibaba is seriously considering an IPO as the next logical step for a company in this position. The e-commerce mammoth will be looking at launching an IPO within the next few years - although this could be moved forward quite briskly if the circumstances are favorable.
The biggest fear for Alibaba is that there is a nuclear war and the internet is cut off all over the world. Their second biggest fear is that they end up like a certain social media site who got a little too greedy.
If the IPO is too high, it will be boom and bust and before you know it shares will have dropped tremendously.
With the latest purchase of a stake in Sina Weibo, Alibaba does have very serious plans to become one of the leading tech companies in China and challenge such groups as Google and Facebook.
Increase projections are estimated to rise by 59% in the next year. Something that is unheard of in the West and gives an idea of where the company is heading.
Our faithful analysts have estimated Alibaba's wealth at the USD100 billion mark. Coincidentally, this is very close to what Facebook was valuated at just before its own IPO.
However, in order to play its cards right, some experts suggest Alibaba undervalue its selling price so as not finish like Facebook did not long after its initial IPO.
Some have hinted at a valuation close to the USD60 billion which is more conservative but runs the risk of under-selling what is the largest e-commerce platform in the world in the country with the most internet users.
If all goes well, this valuation for the IPO could be a sure fire way to not fall into the Facebook trap as investors will want a part of the e-commerce giant whatever happens.
The truth is that for now, nothing has been officially pronounced by the leaders of Alibaba. An IPO in the future has been mentioned but the speculation about it being in the next 18 months is in no way confirmed.
Needless to say, those in charge will not repeat the mistakes made by others in the past and will ensure that whatever move is made will the smartest one possible.
Qihoo CEO Zhou Hongyi has his sights set on the world lying the other side of the Chinese border. In tech talk that literally means the whole planet and then some. Despite these adventurous ideas, there is no certainty the company can survive and thrive in the international market.
Qihoo and the chinese image
What are the positives?
It may be time to begin a new section on this blog, it should be titled "Alibaba World Takeover." I feel a new tag being created.
Is Sina Weibo a good buy?
New forms of Social Commerce
The Beijing underground system is about to get much more with the times now that online payment system Alipay is testing out its new smartphone-as-ticket service in one of Beijing's most used lines. This system could revolutionize how we deal with money in this city and make Alibaba a true leader of the tech industry in China.
Beijing of the future
The new money?
The fast taxi startup from China is seriously putting itself out there to secure funding for its app. The 300 000 user strong service is operational in Shanghai and Hangzhou, hopes to expand to more cities in the near future.
What's the goss?
Big travel company in China, Qunar is struggling at the moment with its 3rd party merchants who are not happy about policy change.