Date
22 November 2017
Taobao (above), Tmall and Juhuasuan, Alibaba's group buying site, are being brought together under a new business unit as part of a sweeping revamp that is shaking up its top ranks. Photo: Internet
Taobao (above), Tmall and Juhuasuan, Alibaba's group buying site, are being brought together under a new business unit as part of a sweeping revamp that is shaking up its top ranks. Photo: Internet

Alibaba shuffles top ranks at shopping sites

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is shaking up its e-commerce platforms amid counterfeiting issues and other problems.

It removed Wang Yulei, head of its Tmall.com shopping website, from that position, although he remains with the company, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing a person familiar with the changes.

Wang could not be immediately reached for comment. Tmall mainly hosts larger retailers.

In a statement, Alibaba said it has appointed Jeff Zhang, former president of the bazaar-like Taobao.com marketplace, to head a business unit that brings together the company’s China retail platforms.

The unit comprises Taobao, Tmall and Juhuasuan, Alibaba’s group-buying marketplace.

The platforms will continue to operate independently but all will be under Zhang, allowing for more efficient use of resources, the report.

Zhang will report to Alibaba chief operating officer Daniel Zhang.

The executive overhaul comes after Alibaba was singled out by a top regulator in January in a report accusing the company of failing to crack down on the sale of fake goods, bribery and other illegal activities on its websites.

The report was later removed from the regulator’s site in a move the company described as a vindication.

The report also pointed to the added scrutiny Alibaba was receiving over the practice of fake transactions that some vendors on Alibaba’s shopping sites use to raise their visibility.

An Alibaba executive told The Wall Street Journal the company uses technological tools to detect and remove such orders from its platforms.

Aside from problems with counterfeits, Alibaba has recently disappointed some investors with its results.

The company reported disappointing revenue growth in the quarter to Dec. 31 as it addressed the challenge of generating revenue from transactions on Alibaba’s mobile platforms, where advertising is less profitable than on desktop computers.

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