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Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s bumpy restructuring journey


SHANGHAI: Alibaba said on Tuesday it would shelve plans to list its logistics arm, the latest twist in the Chinese e-commerce giant’s restructuring efforts since it embarked on the biggest shake-up of its story a year ago.

Here’s a timeline of what’s happened since Alibaba announced it was splitting into six business groups:

MARCH 28, 2023: Alibaba announces the biggest restructuring in its 24-year history, announcing it will split into six units and explore fundraising or listing for most of them.

MAY 18, 2023: Alibaba announces that it will spin off and list its cloud unit within the next 12 months. It will seek external financing for Alibaba International Digital Commerce Business Group and list its Freshippo grocery arm on the stock exchange.

Additionally, its logistics unit Cainiao will consider an IPO in the next 12 to 18 months.

JUNE 20, 2023: Alibaba announced that Daniel Zhang, then CEO and president, would resign to focus on the cloud division.

Eddie Yongming Wu, chairman of Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall Group, took over as CEO, while Executive Vice Chairman Joseph Tsai took over as chairman.

SEPT 10, 2023: Zhang leaves the cloud business in a surprise move and Wu takes over the unit.

SEPT 26, 2023: Alibaba submits application for listing of Cainiao Smart Logistics Network on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

NOVEMBER 16, 2023: Alibaba abandons plans to spin off its cloud business, citing uncertainties created by U.S. restrictions on exports of chips used in artificial intelligence applications.

DEC 20 2023: CEO Wu decides to directly oversee its domestic e-commerce arm, a key area of ​​focus and investment as it fends off competition from low-cost rivals like PDD Holdings Pinduoduo.

FEBRUARY 8: President Tsai tells analysts that it “makes sense” to take some of the traditional brick-and-mortar retail businesses off its balance sheet, “but it will take time due to difficult market conditions.”

MARCH 26: Alibaba plans to list Cainiao publicly and says it will buy the remaining shares it doesn’t own in the logistics unit for up to $3.75 billion.


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