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Tmall, The Sky Cat: A Rocky Road Toward Bringing Buyers and Suppliers Together by Chuck Munson

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Tmall, The Sky Cat: A Rocky Road Toward Bringing Buyers and Suppliers Together

Jianli Hu and Olivia Congbo Mao

Woodbury University, Burbank, California, USA; jianli.hu@woodbury.edu

Alibaba Group, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China; oliviam@alibaba-inc.com

Company Overview

Jack Ma, a former college English teacher, founded Alibaba Group with 17 friends in his apartment in Hangzhou, China, back in 1999. His original vision was to create a 24/7 “matchmaker” B2B platform where foreign buyers could easily communicate with Chinese suppliers. Within several years the B2B platform Alibaba.com grew significantly. When eBay entered China’s C2C market in 2002, Jack Ma felt the pressure immediately. He knew very well that in China’s e-commerce market, the ...

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