Alibaba Divides Into 25 Units Amid China Internet Competition

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, China’s largest e-commerce company, said it’s reorganizing into smaller divisions to improve flexibility and to better focus on different markets.

The company will divide into 25 units from seven, John Spelich, a spokesman, said by phone yesterday. The heads of the new divisions will report to nine senior managers who will in turn report to Chairman Jack Ma.

“We are going to make the most difficult organizational and cultural transformation in Alibaba’s 13-year history,” said Ma, according to an e-mail from the company. The new units will include retail and wholesale e-commerce, data mining and cloud computing.

Alibaba is re-organizing as it competes with companies including EBay Inc. (EBAY) in China’s fast-growing e-commerce market. Ma similarly divided e-commerce arm Taobao into three divisions in 2011 to better focus on different markets, Spelich said.

Alibaba delisted its Hong Kong-traded unit last year, as well as buying back a stake from Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO)

To contact the reporter on this story: Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at ychen447@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net

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