One aspect of Alibaba’s awe-inspiring scale is how easily it can be underestimated.
Because Alibaba is still mainly a Chinese company operating ‘just’ in the Chinese market, one can be forgiven to assume the more internationally operating Amazon might be at least as big as Alibaba. (Hence, the underestimation of Alibaba is a function of the underestimation of the Chinese market.)
Amazon ships 3 million packages a day. The Alibaba Group ships 12 million packages a day, making the packages volume four times the size of Amazon.
As with most other Chinese Internet giants, this also has implications for Alibaba’s internationalization: With a home market that big the international side of things is mostly just a distraction. There is just too much to gain -and to do- at home.
Just think about the size Alibaba’s international business needs to grow to in order to move the needle for the company.
In 2016, the Singles day alone amounted to $17.8 billion in revenue for Alibaba. (With 657 million orders, of which 82% came from mobile.)
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