Alibaba Sells 11 Main, Loses U.S. Toehold
June 25, 2015
For Chinese e-commerce in general, and established giant Alibaba in particular, the arrow has pointed virtually straight up lately. On Tuesday, however, Alibaba said it is selling 11 Main—a subsidiary it bought last year to gain a toehold in the U.S.—to U.S. social-shopping marketplace OpenSky. As a result of the sale, according to a statement quoted in published reports, Alibaba will become a 38-percent owner of OpenSky.
For Alibaba, which went public in the U.S. with an IPO that raised nearly $22 billion in September, the failure to grow 11 Main independently as an online marketplace in the U.S. is a rare stumble. While the sale seems to signal a focus on its home turf of China, the company’s CEO, Jack Ma, said in published reports just this month that Alibaba hopes "to have 40 percent business in overseas market, so far our overseas business only accounts for two percent."