It would have been easy to overlook, between the political turmoil in Washington, D.C., an emerging nuclear threat from North Korea and the second quarter’s earnings season. But, Chine’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) has been a busy beaver of late. Current and would-be owners of BABA stock may want to take note, since most of these deals are significant.
With that as the backdrop (and as a public service to all investors), here’s a quick run-down of all the deal-making, partnerships and general good news Alibaba has mustered in just the past few days.
In no particular order …
#1: Kering Dismisses Lawsuit
The name Kering isn’t one that turns heads in the fashion world, but it should. It’s the parent company of Gucci. It had been in a tiff with Alibaba for some time now, with the company arguing Alibaba wasn’t doing enough to thwart the sale of counterfeit goods bearing — among others — the Gucci look and logo. Kering even went as far as to file a lawsuit.
That suit, which was sure to be nagging not to mention costly, was recently dropped though, with the two organizations instead choosing to work together in an effort to fight sales of fake luxury goods at Alibaba’s Tmall.
#2: Partnership With Macau SAR Government
Although BABA stock is generally categorized into e-commerce, like the United States’ Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), it does so much more. One of those “other things” the company does is supply the underlying technology to transform a city into a so-called smart city.
Alibaba is going to get a chance to highlight its muscle in that arena soon, in none other than high-profile Macau — China’s gambling enclave. It recently inked a deal with the Government of Macau Special Administrative Region that will allow Alibaba to establish the cloud computing backbone that will improve several aspects of living there.
The real benefit of the relationship is that CEO Jack Ma will be able to point to Macau as case study in what he can do for other cities looking to become “smart.”
#3: New Portal Dedicated to Luxury Brands
Alibaba’s Tmall has always sold higher-end merchandise (real and fake), but only through the same platform used for everything else it touts — it doesn’t have a dedicated brand strictly for more expensive goods aimed at big spenders.
That’s about to change.
Earlier this month, BABA announced it will use artificial intelligence to determine which shoppers are most likely to purchase a luxury good, and show them luxury e-stores other consumers aren’t seeing. Alibaba hopes this new “wall” will provide the much-needed feel of exclusivity that attracts more vendors of higher-priced merchandise.