Forum. Thanks to a strategy seemingly suicidal, Alibaba has produced in a single year more of the profits that Amazon in its entire history. Seeing in the longer term, the Internet giant, china has avoided falling into the same trap that Amazon in the face of Google, a trap that may cost to the company of Jeff Bezos the final victory. But we are not going to learn the founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma, who is Sun Tzu. Not only the boss of the giant e-commerce chinese has read the Art of war, the first treaty known strategy, but it is also brilliantly practical.
Like almost all start-ups in their early stages, Alibaba has sought to expand the traffic on its site, hoping to then convert visitors into customers. The strategy would have been to do everything to be the best referenced possible, in order to be included in the top search results of Baidu, the biggest search engine in chinese.
But to everyone’s surprise, Jack Ma and his teams have made a decision counter-intuitive : block Baidu and prevent it from referencing the pages of the site Alibaba. A decision that seemed crazy, since it cut off Alibaba, a gigantic pool of potential customers.
In fact, Alibaba was able to see the long term. Far from thinking that he would make money only by selling products on an e-commerce site, its founder was very early realized that he could monetize the traffic to its site. By blocking Baidu, Alibaba, has in fact created the conditions for brands wanting to reach customers ready to buy online insert their advertisements in Alibaba, where customers are located.
If he had let Baidu to reference its pages, Jack Ma would have let Baidu to do what Google is doing today on Amazon : pick up the customers of Amazon to better sell advertising to brands. Today, the latter largely through Google to reach customers…