People often put Amazon and Alibaba together for comparison. The two companies have different models of e-commerce, Amazon is a self-operation model and Alibaba was starting with a platform model. Jack Ma, who is Alibaba Chairman, spoke with the well-known host Charlie Rose on June 20th, 2017 and explained that “Amazon is a good e-commerce company. However, Alibaba is not an e-commerce company though it helps others to become an e-commerce company. The goal of Alibaba is to help each SME (small medium enterprise) compete with industry giants such as Amazon and IBM, and we believe every merchant can become an Amazon.”
Regarding to globalisation, Ma repeated, “We are not globalising Alibaba, but globalizing SME so that they can compete with Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft. We aim to support small businesses, and we believe every company can become Amazon”. In order to realise this goal, he flew 870 hours in 2016 and he said that he wanted to fly more than 1,000 hours in 2017, which is equivalent to more than one-tenth of a year on the plane. However, Ma also used a joke to express his tiredness of this ‘life in the air’ by saying “many people used to say I would become Bill Gates, but I will never compare myself with him. The only thing I can compare with him is who will be retiring earlier and who is more influential in SME. I don’t want to die in my own office, I want to die on the beach, but now I do not have any time for vacation”.
In an interview with CNBC, Mr. Cai Chongxin, the vice chairman of Alibaba's board of directors, also mentioned that the news that ‘Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market and entered the offline fresh delivery area’ did not surprise him because Alibaba had already done it earlier. “I think that Amazon entry into the fresh delivery area is a great step. We've been in this business since last year”, he added.
Currently, Amazon's market value is $471.6 billion while Alibaba's market value is $345.3 billion.
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