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What’s up for Alibaba’s mobile app strategy?

25
Feb
2014

By Denny Thomas and Paul Carsten HONG KONG/BEIJING (Reuters) – Billionaire Jack Mas Alibaba, the dominant force in Chinas $1.6 trillion e-commerce market, may already have lost a battle with rival Tencent for the worlds biggest mobile market. While Alibaba Group Holding Ltd dominates in e-commerce, Tencent Holdings Ltd has taken over Chinas smartphone screens with its WeChat, or Weixin, social messaging platform. Its a battle that is being more closely watched after Facebook Incs $19 billion WhatsApp buy, and puts the spotlight on Mas mobile strategy, especially as Alibaba winds up for a mega IPO that could value the company at close to $130 billion. The WhatsApp acquisition and that of mobile messaging firm Viber by Japans Rakuten Inc have driven home this month how crucial mobile messaging platforms are to controlling user experience on smartphone screens.

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