Chinese tech giant Alibaba has acquired e-commerce site Kaola from compatriot NetEase for around $2 billion. Kaola, which sells imported goods in China, and competes with JD.com’s JD Worldwide, and Alibaba’s own TMall Global.
As part of the deal Kaola will receive a new executive from TMall, Alvin Liu—but it will continue operating as a separate brand, giving Alibaba a commanding share of the Chinese import e-commerce market. The country’s entire e-commerce sector is now worth just under $2tr, according to analyst eMarketer.
“With Kaola, we will further elevate import service and experience for Chinese consumers,” said Daniel Zhang, Alibaba CEO. Despite China’s massive e-commerce value, Zhang insists the country’s industry “remains in its infancy.”
Alibaba, whose market value is now $231bn, today launched an e-commerce venture in India via its UCWeb subsidiary. The 1.339-billion populated nation’s e-commerce market is expected to reach a value of $200bn by 2026—despite Indian economic growth plunging to 5%.