I’m both fascinated and extremely unqualified to discuss China. Every time I read an article about technology and business in China I discover it’s a completely different world than the one I’m used to. Just today I read an article about two competing e-commerce companies - JD and Alibaba - and how they’re tackling ecommerce in China via antithetical approaches. And the market is so big and so nascent that it feels as if every company is trying to be involved in every industry. In the US we have Amazon which seemingly is getting involved in every industry but in China it feels as if every major technology company is doing the same. In this case JD is allying itself with Tencent - a competitor to Alibaba. Maybe it’s the natural order to have massive corporations competing with each other in every industry via partnerships with hundreds of competing startups.
This is very similar with what’s happening in the US now. Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods was seen as such a threat by other grocers that they’re all rushing to partner with Instacart - a company many thought would be hurt by the acquisition. The same thing is happening with Deliv, a same-day delivery startup that’s quickly increasing the number of partnerships it has with brick and mortar retailers. How does this play out? It seems that the largest companies are getting larger and larger and whatever functionality they lack they will either acquire or partner. And if any one of these major corporations achieves some sort of breakthrough there will always be a startup willing to provide that same service to competitors.