Alibaba acquires NetEase Kaola in deal worth $2 billion – gpgmail


Alibaba Group said today it has acquired NetEase Kaola for $2 billion and will integrate it into Tmall, creating the largest cross-border e-commerce platform in China. The announcement follows weeks of media reports about a potential deal, which was said to have stalled in the middle of August after the companies reportedly disagreed on transaction details.

Tmall Import and Export general manager Alvin Liu has been named as Kaola’s new CEO, replacing Zhang Lei, but Kaola will continue to operate independently under its own brand.

Tmall Global and Kaola are China’s largest and second-largest cross-border e-commerce platforms, respectively, holding 31.7% and 24.5% of the market, and their union means they will create a business that will far outstrip in size rivals like JD Worldwide, VIP International and Amazon China.

Alibaba and Yunfeng, the investment firm launched by Alibaba founder Jack Ma, also agreed to invest $700 million into NetEase Cloud Music’s latest funding round. This will give Alibaba a minority stake in the streaming music service, with NetEase remaining its controlling shareholder.

In a press release, NetEase CEO William Ding said “We are pleased to have found a strategic fit for Kaola within Alibaba’s extensive ecosystem, where Kaola will continue to provide Chinese consumers with high-quality import products and services. At the same time, the completion of this strategic transaction will allow NetEase to focus on its growth strategy, investing in markets that allow us to best leverage our competitive advantages.”

Daniel Zhang, Alibaba Group’s CEO, said “Alibaba is confidence about the future of China’s import e-commerce market, which we believe remains in its infancy with great growth potential.”


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Alibaba reportedly near finalizing a deal to acquire NetEase’s cross-border e-commerce unit – gpgmail


After weeks of media reports, Alibaba may finally be nearing an agreement to acquire NetEase’s cross-border e-commerce unit, Kaola. Chinese tech news website 36kr reports that a deal may be announced as early as this week and is expected to be worth $2 billion in cash and shares.

Kaola will continue to run independently, but would become part of Alibaba’s Tmall Global, creating a massive cross-border e-commerce business. At the end of last year, Tmall Global held a 31.7% share of the market, while Kaola had about 24.5%, much larger than rivals JD Worldwide (11.5%), VIP International (9.7%), Amazon (6%).

Caixin Global first reported that Alibaba was planning to acquire Kaola for $2 billion in cash on August 15, but then the deal was reportedly called off after the companies disagreed on the price and other details.

36kr reports that Kaola employee stock options will be converted into Alibaba shares and that even though the brand will remain independent, Alibaba will put a new CEO in place, replacing current Kaola head Zhang Lei.

An Alibaba spokesperson said the company does not comment on market rumors. NetEase had no comment.

Alibaba is also expected to invest in NetEast Cloud Music, but that deal is unrelated to the Kaola acquisition.


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