Alimama-YuyongfuChina’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group has appointed Yu Yongfu as president of its online marketing unit Alimama to spearhead the business into new areas of growth. This appointment makes Yu the helmsman of Alibaba’s three important units: the browser, mapping and online marketing. Yu will report to Alibaba Group COO Daniel Zhang directly.

The former chief executive and chairman of UCWeb, Yu joined Alibaba Group last June when the e-commerce titan acquired the mobile browser, and he was appointed president of the newly-established UC Mobile Business Group under Alibaba. Yu was also named president of Alibaba’s mapping and data service AutoNavi in mid-March this year.

Alimama is an online marketing technology platform that offers sellers on Alibaba Group’s marketplaces online marketing services for both personal computers and mobile devices. Online advertising accounts for the bulk of Alibaba’s income. The company made RMB37.5 billion in revenue from ads on Taobao last year, iResearch estimates.

Alimama is now primarily a business within Alibaba Group with most of its customers retailers on Alibaba marketplaces like Taobao. “Our goal is to expand its focus from e-commerce online marketing to become a leading media platform that efficiently matches advertisers and their target audience,” said Yu Yongfu.

Alimama’s major initiatives for the year include integrating data and technology products and services, building a country-wide and industry-wide platform for data to increase clients’ data utilization, and supporting over 100,000 media partners, according to the company.

Yu’s appointment highlights the strategic importance of online marketing and mobile internet initiatives within Alibaba’s ecosystem. With Yu overseeing the mobile internet business and Alimama, the company will be able to consolidate its resources and increase synergies, ranging from UC browser, AutoNavi Map and mobile search service Shenma.

Similarly, Alibaba appointed Zhang Jianfeng to oversee all e-commerce related arms including Taobao marketplace, Tmall and Juhuasuan last month to enhance synergies among related businesses. 

Image credit: ifanr

Editing by Mike Cormack (@bucketoftongues)