Alibaba’s quest to become an economy


China’s largest online company Alibaba is a global force to reckon with, and they have recently been active in Pakistan’s market.

As Pakistan and China’s links further under the China-Pakistan-Economic-Corridor (CPEC) and the presence of Chinese citizens increases in our country, Jack Ma, the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba, is deepening his company’s presence.

In May this year, Alibaba acquired, Pakistan’s leading online retailer, which claimed to have recorded Pakistan’s first Rs1 billion sales in 2016 with its Black Friday event. Prior to the acquisition of, in March 2018, Ant Financial, also a company controlled by Ma, bought a 45% stake in Telenor Microfinance Bank for $184.5 million to further develop digital payments and financial services.

The Alibaba group’s strategy will significantly challenge the incumbent service providers in Pakistan, as Alibaba is expected to emerge as technologically more advanced and agile in comparison to local businesses. Already, the company has seen exponential success globally with hundreds of millions of users and made its way to one of the 10 largest companies in the world and China’s biggest online commerce company.

The recent acquisitions and investment in the e-commerce and payments space in Pakistan cements Alibaba’s long-term ambition in the country. It seems that it is now high time for our legacy banks to gear up for drastic improvements and disrupt their old style of working before they start getting dislocated by well-funded Chinese entrants.

Watch VCast Online’s video on the Alibaba group and its acquisition of and why Jack Ma thinks Alibaba is not a company but an economy.

We ask what’s next for Alibaba in Pakistan?

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