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商業 - 科技

硅谷怎么看阿里巴巴?

Adam Lashinsky 2014年09月18日

阿里巴巴是競爭對手嗎?還談不上。但在投資和收購科技創業公司方面肯定算得上是一位活躍的伙伴。

聚焦阿里巴巴上市專題

· 阿里上千員工或分得人均數千萬財富
· 阿里的收購野心及其背后的風險
· 阿里巴巴能從亞馬遜和谷歌的IPO中借鑒什么
· 硅谷怎么看阿里巴巴?
· 阿里巴巴IPO:對投資者來說這是一筆“撿漏”的買賣

????華爾街十分看好本周阿里巴巴(Alibaba)上市的“錢景”,這家中國電子商務巨頭有望募集逾200億美元的資金。

????但在硅谷眼中,對阿里巴巴的看法卻另有不同。雖然它在中國取得了令人不可小覷的成功,而且很快還將籌集巨額資金,但在美國科技界看來,無論是現在還是可預見的未來,阿里巴巴都無法對其核心市場構成挑戰。同時,他們也認為,阿里巴巴已經成為在投資和收購新創科技企業方面的活躍伙伴。

????與其主要競爭對手騰訊(Tencent)和百度(Baidu)等一樣,阿里巴巴的名氣和利潤都源自中國。目前,阿里巴巴只有約10%的營收來自中國市場之外,主要源自其國際電子商務業務全球速賣通。阿里巴巴的招股書顯示,俄羅斯、巴西和美國是全球速賣通增長最快的地區。[《華爾街日報》(The Wall Street Journal)之前剛剛對阿里巴巴進軍巴西市場進行了專題報道。]

????但在美國做生意卻截然不同。硅谷高管圈對阿里巴巴十足重視,但他們往往傾向于認為,阿里巴巴及其中國同行之所以能在國內市場繁榮壯大,源自當地政府對中資互聯網企業的保護,而美國企業則遭到排擠。谷歌(Google)、Facebook和eBay都在中國遭遇了麻煩,而中國科技巨頭也尚未在美國取得有意義的進展。

????但具體到投資,阿里巴巴已經在美國市場有所建樹。其從約翰?馬龍的自由傳媒(Liberty Media)挖來了經驗豐富的交易高管邁克爾?賽澤,讓他負責美國分公司發展。(很難想象一位中國業務拓展主管將其電子郵箱地址放在網上招攬投資。)他們還聘請了公關和投資者關系專家、美國前財長亨利?保爾森的新聞助理吉姆?威爾金森以及谷歌老將簡?彭納。很顯然,阿里巴巴的這些招募活動主要是為了確保IPO順利進行,但同樣可以在今后開展美國業務時讓他們派上用場。

????這些投資種類各異,金額不低,每一筆似乎都瞄準了潛在的海外競爭對手。阿里巴巴花費2億多美元收購了Shoprunner 39%的股份,后者由雅虎前首席執行官斯科特?湯普森領導,是亞馬遜金牌服務(Amazon Prime)的競爭對手。阿里巴巴最近還與多家美國風險投資公司共同入股了租車服務公司Lyft,這可能也是為了支持其在中國實施的出租車戰略。上周米格爾?赫夫特在《財富》雜志網站(Fortune.com)上撰寫了一篇有關該主題的文章。[事實上,租車行業是阿里巴巴支付戰略的一部分,可能將因此與eBay和蘋果公司(Apple)形成競爭關系。]阿里巴巴還斥資1.2億美元入股了舊金山游戲開發商Kabam,后者已經在中國開設了工作室。

????通過IPO,阿里巴巴即將登陸美國資本市場,這是目前其籌集資金的最佳機會。以后阿里巴巴將如何在美國花這筆錢,將非常值得關注。(財富中文網)

????譯者:Lina

????Wall Street is seeing green this week regarding the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba. It hopes to raise more than $20 billion.

????How Silicon Valley views Alibaba is another matter altogether. While respectful of Alibaba’s success in China and all that capital it shortly will have in its coffers, the U.S. tech scene views Alibaba as nearly a non-entity, now and for the foreseeable future, for potential competition in its core markets. At the same time, it sees Alibaba as already an active sparring partner for investments and, perhaps, acquisitions of tech startups.

????Like its major competitors Tencent and Baidu, Alibaba made its name—and its profits—in China. Non-Chinese revenues are about 10% of its total today, however, particularly coming from AliExpress, its global e-commerce business. According to Alibaba’s IPO prospectus, which you can read yourself if you have a few spare hours, Russia, Brazil and the U.S. are the highest-growth regions for AliExpress. (The other day The Wall Street Journal nicely covered Alibaba’s foray into Brazil.)

????Operating in the U.S. will be a different story. Silicon Valley executives absolutely are taking Alibaba seriously. But they tend to note that Alibaba and its peers thrived in a country that put its thumb on the scales in favor of Chinese Internet companies while keeping U.S. competitors at a distance. Google, Facebook, and eBay all have had their problems in China, while the Chinese giants haven’t yet really tried their hands meaningfully in the U.S.

????When it comes to investments, however, Alibaba has been making its presence felt. It hired Michael Zeisser, a seasoned dealmaking executive from John Malone’s Liberty Media, to run its U.S.-based corporate development. (It’s hard to imagine a Chinese biz-dev executive putting his email on the web to solicit investments.) It also has hired seasoned public-relations as well as investor-relations talent in Jim Wilkinson, a former press aide for Henry Paulson at the U.S. Treasury, and Jane Penner, a Google veteran. These U.S.-based hires undoubtedly were mostly about ensuring a smooth IPO, but they also will be available for any future push on U.S. soil.

????The investments themselves are varied and high dollar value, and each can be viewed as targeting a potential non-Chinese competitor. Alibaba plunked down more than $200 million for a 39% stake in Shoprunner, the Amazon Prime competitor headed by ex-Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson. More recently it joined several U.S. venture capital firms in investing in Lyft, which presumably buttresses its China-based taxi strategy that Miguel Helft wrote about last week on Fortune.com. (Taxis essentially are a payments play to Alibaba, putting it in potential conflict with the likes of eBay and now Apple.) Alibaba took a $120-million stake in San Francisco game developer Kabam, which already had a studio in China.

????For its IPO, Alibaba is coming to the U.S., its current best opportunity to raise capital. Watching how it spend that money in the U.S. will an interesting next chapter.

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