Why you should stay away from Alibaba


Alibaba’s most recent IPO prospectus is brimming with fantastic numbers illustrating its power in one of the great markets of the future: Internet commerce in China.

In the first few pages, we learn that Alibaba boasts 279 million online customers who spend almost $300 billion a year on appliances, PCs, groceries and just about everything else. Keep reading and you’ll see that 6 billion packages arrive at its customers’ doorsteps each year. Looking for growth? Alibaba’s mobile sales expanded over 100% last year. It’s not just a market leader, its practically the whole market—a powerhouse that handles an incredible 86% of the online retail sales in China.

Those fabulous statistics, the filing announces, make Alibaba the largest online and mobile commerce purveyor in the world. That means bigger than Amazon, bigger than eBay and, with those growth rates, destined to expand its lead for years to come.

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