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Alibaba Explores Selling Consumer Assets: RT-Mart and Freshippo LeapRate

According to an exclusive report by Reuters citing information from three sources, Alibaba Group, a leading force in the Chinese internet sector, is reportedly exploring the sale of several consumer-focused assets, including its grocery venture Freshippo and the retail giant RT-Mart.

One source in the exclusive report noted that this strategic move is part of Alibaba’s refocused strategy under the leadership of chairman Joe Tsai and the newly appointed CEO Eddie Wu, aiming to concentrate on its original and profitable e-commerce operations while stepping away from non-essential and unprofitable segments.

The company has initiated discussions with potential strategic and financial buyers regarding these assets, including the shopping mall entity Intime, revealed one of the insiders. However, these talks are still nascent, and Alibaba might opt not to proceed with the sales, the sources, who preferred anonymity due to the private nature of the discussions, added.

A report by Bloomberg highlighted Alibaba’s consideration for offloading InTime, indicating outreach efforts to various parties to assess interest in its department store division.

Requests for comments from Alibaba, RT-Mart, and Intime remained unanswered at the time of inquiry. A Freshippo spokesperson, however, refuted claims of a planned sale by Alibaba and refrained from further comments.


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This divestiture initiative coincides with Alibaba’s comprehensive restructuring and comes amidst increased regulatory scrutiny over IPOs in China, impacting the fundraising capabilities of startups in a challenging capital market environment.

Following the leadership transition from Daniel Zhang to Eddie Wu in September, Wu outlined a strategic vision two months later. He emphasised a more market-oriented approach for Alibaba’s various businesses and announced a strategic evaluation to categorise operations as “core” or “non-core.”

Jason Yu, the Greater China managing director at Kantar Worldpanel, remarked on the change in Alibaba’s management focus towards bolstering its primary domestic e-commerce platform and investing in artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and global expansion. He noted the significant investment and integration challenges associated with Alibaba’s offline ventures and its main online commerce activities.


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