Tag Archives: alibaba

Newley’s Notes 85: Me Talking Trump and Visas; BBC’s Viral Classic; Barca: Amazing; Micro-meteorites

2017 03 13NN

Edition 85 of my email newsletter, Newley’s Notes, went out to subscribers Saturday.

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Hi friends, thanks for reading Newley’s Notes.

Apologies for the delay in sending this edition out. I missed a week, so this NN is even more action-packed than usual.

WHAT I WROTE IN THE WSJ:

I story I’d been working on for some time ran recently, and has provoked a strong response online, with more than 450 comments on The WSJ site, and more than 800 reactions, 230 shares and 150 comments on Facebook:

Indian Workers in U.S. Fear Trump H-1B Visa Crackdown.

TLDR: Foreign tech workers are concerned that under Pres. Trump, changes to the program might suddenly force them to pack up and leave the country. Many have put down roots in the U.S., buying homes and sending kids to school. I spoke with dozens of folks for this story. Please give it a read.

Other stories:

More on H-1B stuff: Indian Outsourcing Firms Look to Get Ahead of Immigration Curbs. The story begins:

Under pressure from President Donald Trump’s administration, Indian outsourcing firms are working behind the scenes to prevent potential immigration curbs in the U.S., their most important market.

India’s big IT services firms employ millions of people and contribute significantly to the Indian economy. And the U.S. is their biggest market, so a tightening of visa rules is a real threat to their business models.

Meanwhile a colleague and I on Fri. held a Facebook Live video chat on H-1B issues. We took questions from viewers and I discussed some of my recent stories. The video has been watched more than 85,000 times already.

And finally, in other news, I wrote this piece: Alibaba Raises Stake in India’s Crowded E-Commerce Market. It begins:

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is placing a big bet on India’s hotly contested e-commerce market, pouring $177 million more into Paytm as the Chinese tech titan chases growth beyond its shores.

5 ITEMS THAT ARE WORTH YOUR TIME THIS WEEK:

1) What will surely become of the most viral videos of all time was recorded yesterday. Yes, I’m referring to the kids interrupting the guy giving the BBC interview.. <– Give it a watch if you’re one of the few people who hasn’t seen it yet.

In my view, the video was an instant hit because it involved these key elements:

  • A live TV #fail. Who doesn’t love one of those?
  • A gif-able, funny, toddler strut
  • The woman, apparently his wife, rushing in frantically
  • The older kid yelping when run over by the younger kid
  • The crawling door close
  • The guy — the telegenic Robert E. Kelly, a professor at a university in S. Korea — trying to maintain a straight face
  • Brevity — all of this happened within 45 seconds!

2) Barcelona staged one of the most amazing comebacks ever seen on a football field. Down 4-0 in the first leg of a Champions League round of 16 game, the Spanish side came back to beat Paris Saint-Germain 6-1 Wednesday, scoring three goals in the final seven minutes.

Here’ the NYT write-up. And The Guardian has a good roundup of the celebrations and reaction online.

3) Project Stardust: A well known jazz musician in Norway has pioneered, in a new book, methods for collecting cosmic dust in places like rooftops. Click through for the context.

Here’s more on the book and the man, Jon Larsen.

4) India PM Narendra Modi: MicroManager-in-Chief. My very talented WSJ colleagues here in New Delhi have written a fascinating deep dive with behind-the-scenes details on how the most powerful Indian leader in a generation goes about governing.

Highly recommended for those interested in India and South Asian politics.

5) “Jimmy Buffett Launching Margaritaville Retirement Homes.” That’s the headline on this Hollywood Reporter story:

According to the website for Latitude Margaritavile, the first of the communities is being planned in Daytona Beach, Fla., and it promises that the party will continue well into the golden years.

Amazing.

What’d I miss? Send me links, rants, raves, juicy news scoops and anything else! My email: n@newley.com

Thanks for reading.

Love,
Newley

By Me and a Colleague Wed.: Alibaba to Invest $1 billion in Southeast Asia-Focused E-Commerce Startup Lazada

2016-04-15lazada

The story begins:

Chinese Internet giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., in its biggest overseas acquisition to date, said Tuesday it would pay about $1 billion for a controlling stake in Singapore e-commerce startup Lazada Group, betting on growth in populous Southeast Asia.

The acquisition of Lazada—which sells everything from rice cookers to smartphones and operates e-commerce platforms throughout Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam—comes as Alibaba has been using its $3.7 billion in free cash flow to expand into e-commerce, logistics and media, as well as entertainment both at home and abroad.

You may recall back in 2014 I wrote about Lazada’s operations in Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest market. (I snapped the image above at a Lazada warehouse outside Jakarta.) The nut graf:

Challenges are par for the course at Lazada Indonesia, founded in Jakarta in 2012 and partly funded by Rocket Internet AG, a Berlin-based tech incubator that went public last month. Indonesia’s e-commerce market is still small, and Lazada had to build a lot of what it needed from scratch. But the company is plowing ahead so it can get a head start in the country over international giants like Amazon.com Inc., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and eBay Inc.

Lazada already gets more visitors than any other business-to-consumer site in Indonesia, according to data from research firm SimilarWeb. Lazada’s site saw 6.6 million visitors a month, compared with 3.9 million for Alibaba’s marketplace website AliExpress.com and 2.2 million for eBay, according to the most recent data available from brokerage UBS.

 

The Alibaba IPO Roadshow Came to Singapore Yesterday

And some colleagues and I wrote it about it here:

Alibaba on Tuesday wrapped up its roadshow in Asia as it nears what could be the world’s largest initial public offering, with investors seeming to shrug off concerns about a higher valuation and focusing on the Chinese e-commerce firm’s growth prospects.

Founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma, along with other top executives at the Chinese e-commerce firm, met with about 150 investors behind closed doors at Singapore’s Ritz-Carlton hotel.

He did not speak with media, and hotel staff did not allow reporters to enter the luncheon event, which included prawns, spiced chicken, Portobello mushrooms and tiramisu, according to people who attended.

Ma, speaking in English, told investors that Alibaba is more worried about competitors it cannot see – early stage startups developing technologies “from their apartments” — than more established rivals, according to Adrian Toh, a Singapore-based executive at RHB OSK Asset Management, who attended the roughly hour-long meeting.

Many folks in the U.S. aren’t familiar with Alibaba. Check out this WSJ interactive feature about the company:

Alibaba is China’s — and by some measures, the world’s — biggest online commerce company. Its three main sites — Taobao, Tmall and Alibaba.com — have hundreds of millions of users, and host millions of merchants and businesses. Alibaba handles more business than any other e-commerce company.

And here’s a snip from a story we ran back in April:

Jack Ma still has the spartan apartment in the Chinese city of Hangzhou where the former English teacher started Alibaba.com in 1999. As the e-commerce company grew, executives and employees often hunkered down there for inspiration while trying to come up with the next big thing.

Big doesn’t come close to describing Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. now.

Taobao, a website dreamed up in Mr. Ma’s apartment a decade ago, has about 800 million product listings from seven million sellers who pay Alibaba for advertising and other services. In 2013, the combined transaction volume of Taobao and another Alibaba-run shopping site called Tmall reached $240 billion, says a person with knowledge of the figure.

The total is more than double the size of Amazon.com Inc., triple the size of eBay Inc. and one-third larger than the value of all the transactions last year at the two U.S.-based e-commerce giants combined.

A fascinating company indeed.