LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

Platforms and international trade

Most people think platforms and transformative ICT companies are best described by the acronym GAFA. Some add Microsoft to make it five. But living in Asia, we know better. There’s Baidu, Alibaba and TenCent.

Alibaba has become one of the most highly valued technology companies in the world, and its recent string of strong financial results has signaled the continued rise of China’s internet industry and the heartiness of its hundreds of millions of online shoppers.

The company said on Thursday that profit for its most recent quarter more than doubled compared with the same period a year ago, thanks in part to a 61 percent rise in revenue. By comparison, Amazon reported a 34 percent revenue increase for the same quarter.

Trade is two ways. Jack Ma understands that:

Mr. Ma has circled the planet and hobnobbed with world leaders in his effort to take the Alibaba brand global. The company has paid billions of dollars to take control of Lazada, an e-commerce company in Southeast Asia. And Mr. Ma pledged this year that Alibaba would create a million jobs in the United States by linking small American businesses with Chinese shoppers, who tend to view American-made goods as higher quality.

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