alibaba © Minipig5188 |
© Minipig5188

It has happened. Alibaba, Jack Ma’s Chinese e-commerce site, has become the world’s biggest retailer, leaving Wal-Mart in its wake. Not just significant because a Chinese retailer has overtaken a US one, but also because online has overtaken offline. It was a fairly close run thing though, Alibaba still had 10 days of trading left to announce. Its year ends March 31, but by March 21, gross merchandise volumes were more than $475.89bn, compared with Wal-Mart’s $482.1bn in revenue in its year ending January 31. And it doesn’t sound as if Alibaba is resting on its laurels. The statement that it wants to sell to 2bn consumers by 2024 must be unprecedented.

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