JD.com vs. Alibaba: China's Online Retailing Giants Collide

Weiru Chen (First Author), Ziqian Zhao (Participant Author)

Research output: Other contributionCase Studies


The case contrasts the two most influential e-commerce websites, JD.com and Taobao.com (including its subsidiary Tmall). Their operation models are described in this longitudinal case study, which helps students understand the evolution of the two companies and why they have developed similar operations models, despite starting from very different places. Although they adopted different models initially, both came to the conclusion that a number of elements were essential in building an e-commerce platform, and that a platform operates quite differently from a traditional value chain. As Internet platforms have disrupted the status quo in many an industry, it is critical to understand the mechanism behind them and the preconditions for a successful platform.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

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Published by

China Europe International Business School


  • Alibaba
  • E-commerce
  • JD.com
  • Platform Strategy

Case studies discipline

  • Strategy

Case studies industry

  • Information, Media & Telecommunications
  • Retail Trade


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