We last week wrote about the Alibaba/Sina weibo tie-up rumor and how they both shrugged it away, that said, we did believe that Sina Weibo wouldn’t be Alibaba’s only target when coming to its investment plan and social wouldn’t be the only territory fall under its investment blueprint.
Since last year, Alibaba stepped its toes into startups including Meituan, Dingding and even Momo via financial investments, or we can interpret it in a different way, Alibaba invested into group buying and map/coupon (all are deemed as online-to-offline services) and mobile social networking services.
I guess the mindset behind Alibaba’s investment track would be that “as long as I extended my tentacles long and wild enough, eventually I’ll capture something cool and could be leveraged on later on to boost or even reinvent my core business”.
It is true though.
For example, the Dingding map investment has big opportunity to achieve synergy between Alibaba and the startup by using the latter’s technology on online map front and its strength in distributing ecoupons through the company’s popular coupon app DDCoupon. Furthermore, by buying into Meituan, Alibaba would have access to the latter’s power in offline sales team. As for the Momo investment, the mobile networking services seemed a little out of Alibaba’s league, but given Weixin’s momentum growth and the many possibilities behind the app and Momo’s position (more than 10 million users) in the market, it could well serve as one of the online-to-offline gateways for Alibaba.
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