Alibaba Launches New Website - “Alimama”
You just can’t make this stuff up! Alibaba has launched a new website - Alimama.com. This sister - spousal? - website is just further proof that the company doesn’t know what it’s doing. I’ve tried to figure out what the website is about and after two news pieces and some minutes on the website, I still don’t get it. It has something to do with selling advertising space to small websites and blogs?
“Alimama has signed up more than 150,000 small- and medium- sized web publishers and 135,000 personal blogs, covering more than 1 billion page views per day…Alimama is adding 4,000 small and medium sized websites and 10,000 personal blogs each day.
If they are really signing up 10,000 personal blogs each day, that’s 300,000 blogs a month. If that many are really blogging in China, someone should jump on the story.
One article has an Alibaba representative insisting that Alimama in no way competes with Yahoo’s advertising model, even though Yahoo’s primary income generation model relies upon online advertising. Whenever a company rep in China tells me not to worry, I tend to worry, and it sounds like Alibaba is very much moving into territory that Yahoo might have taken. Not bad enough Alibaba’s share price has languished following its high-profile IPO, its business model is now going to call into question Yahoo’s long-range income projections for China.
I went to “Wayback” to see what Alimama’s website looked like in the recent past. Alibaba claims to have been working on Alimama for some time, but just as recently as June the website was little more than a set of random net links. One offered: “Mama Mama Ringtone”.
There is little about the new business model that suggests it’s legit, and the biggest tip-off is Alimama’s logo - it’s a blatant rip off of Amazon’s. Even if you want to forgive copyright issues in China, this is not what you expect from a global company that is valued in the billions. We don’t expect Burger King ever to come out with a Burger Queen sub-brand, while borrowing a logo from a completely unrelated industry. And any number of consultants can explain to you why Coca-Cola never launched with Shmoka-Cola.
On the logo, I’m having problems loading up pictures here, but welcome to compare the logo in this link with the logo in this link. The Amazon logo shows an arrow that runs from “A” to the “Z” (Hint: We have it all “from A to Z”). In the Alimama logo, you have almost the exact same arrow, except it runs from “A” to “A”. That pretty much says everything to investors: In other words, if you’re lucky, we’ll get you right back to the share price we started out at for the IPO.
What Alibaba needs to do is take a solid portion of the billions it has raised and get on with some proper marketing. What they have just done with Alimama might work in China, but it is not up to the international standard, and its investor class is playing at that international level.