Alibaba won't last without expanding globally, new CEO says

Alibaba is looking to grow its cloud computing business in the US

Alibaba's new CEO Daniel Zhang.

Alibaba's new CEO Daniel Zhang.

After taking over the reins, Alibaba Group's new CEO has made global expansion a top priority for the Chinese e-commerce giant.

Alibaba will heavily invest in "new and existing overseas operations," said Daniel Zhang in a speech on Wednesday to employees, an excerpt of which was posted on the group's website.

Zhang, 43, was the company's chief operating officer until he replaced CEO Jonathan Lu last week, as the group said it was looking to tap new younger talent.

In his speech, Zhang said he wants to recruit talent from other countries and adopt "global thinking." If the company can't globalize, then Alibaba won't last, he said.

Most of Alibaba's business is still centered on China where it runs two of the country's largest online retail sites, Tmall.com and Taobao Marketplace. Although there's still plenty of room for growth in China, the company has been gradually expanding into foreign markets, where it could end up competing with Amazon.com and eBay.

It already has its AliExpress site, an English-language e-commerce platform that sells Chinese-made goods to international customers. And it has been courting foreign brands to sell through its Tmall site.

Alibaba is also investing in cloud computing and is a leading provider in China. In March it announced it would push into the U.S. cloud computing market. In his speech, Zhang said he wants to grow Alibaba's cloud computing customer base.

Alibaba, which is China's largest e-commerce company, is perhaps best known for its massive U.S. IPO. But the company's stock price has struggled to stay high, and its profits have remained depressed due to stock awards to employees.

No mention was made on how else Alibaba might expand internationally. But the company has been investing in the U.S., funding internet companies such as Snapchat and Lyft.

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