Alibaba made waves across the world in 2014. The e-commerce giant raised a whopping $25.1 billion in the biggest IPO in the U.S. history. Following the successful IPO, Alibaba chairman Jack Ma became the richest man in China. Despite tasting big success in 2014, Jack Ma warned that the online retailer faced increased risks in 2015. In an interview with China’s state-run CCTV, Ma said that the task ahead “will be rather difficult.”
Alibaba faces more pressure due to the limelight
He said that the company was under intense pressure because of the limelight it has received following its blockbuster IPO and the success in Chinese markets. Ma added that Alibaba was in deep waters. Whatever new business it sets foot in, it will face tough challenges from “groups with vested interests.” In the past, very few people were optimistic about Alibaba. But now people think that the e-commerce giant is omnipotent. They believe that Alibaba can succeed in whatever it does.
High expectations make it “very dangerous for us,” said Jack Ma. He has warned the company employees about potential risks several times in the past. In November, he feared that the company employees could get complacent and stop innovating. Alibaba recorded $9.34 billion in sales on Singles’ Day, more than the Cyber Monday sales in the U.S.
Alibaba sees potential in China’s rural regions
One of the biggest challenges before the company is to screen out fake goods from its Tmall and Taobao platforms. Alibaba revealed last month that, in the run-up to its IPO, the company spent $161 million to detect and remove more than six million web pages selling fake products on its sites.The company has also been working with police and law enforcement departments to bust counterfeit goods sellers.
Fake products selling online are a big headache for e-commerce companies in China. Counterfeit goods make buyers suspicious of products they purchase online. As Alibaba tries to attract big brands from the West, the company is taking bold steps to build its reputation. Jack Ma said Alibaba’s potential lies in vast rural regions of China.
Alibaba shares gained 0.29% to $101.29 in pre-market trading Tuesday.