China's E-commerce Battle Heats Up

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By Assistant Professor of Marketing Chen Lin

Alibaba (“Ali”) and Suning Commerce announced, on August 10 this year, that they would enter into a strategic alliance by buying stakes in each other. The dramatic “marriage” between the two old enemies was a bombshell for the e-commerce sector. In 2012, Jack Ma publicly predicted that, in the future, traditional retailers – like Suning – would be largely edged out by e-commerce companies like his. That same year, Suning Chairman Zhang Jindong declared war on Alibaba, when he said, “our arch-rival is not (JD.com) Liu Qiangdong, but (Ali) Jack Ma”. Now the two former foes have unexpectedly decided to bury the hatchet and join forces against JD.com, the titan of B2C online retailing. The question is whether their marriage for the sake of mutual interests will be a happy union. Does the often-used logic that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” make sense in this situation? Read more on Forbes.com

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