China’s Alibaba splits into 25 separate divisions to get faster and more nimble

China’s Alibaba splits into 25 separate divisions to get faster and more nimble

Alibaba Group, the Chinese Web giant that operates popular ecommerce sites Alibaba and Taobao, is restructuring to split the business into 25 different divisions to help its brands more quickly respond to competitive threats, as noted by 36Kr.

The reorganization is ostensibly meant to help Alibaba ensure that the new e-commerce-driven business ecosystem is fully established and to allow it to adapt to the opportunities and challenges brought about by the rapid transformation of the Internet.

From the looks of it, Alibaba is trying to free up its individual properties to act more like smaller Web startups instead of being caught in the bureaucracy of a bigger company. The smaller divisions could gain much-needed nimbleness to take on China’s fast-moving and highly competitive ecommerce market.

Alibaba’s last restructuring came in July 2012. At the time, the company divided into seven core business groups. CEO Jack Ma has admitted in the past that the company struggled to get organized as it grew.

Last September, it spun off its Aliyun mobile OS division into its own company with a $200 million investment. It also gave its B2B website a long-overdue facelift.

This latest move comes on the heels of a reorganization by rival Sina that saw it separate its Web portal and Weibo microblog businesses in an effort to focus more resources on making Weibo profitable.

Update: Alibaba has provided the following statement from VP John Spelich to The Next Web:

“Consistent with our stated goal of promoting an e-commerce ecosystem, we’re organizing the company into smaller business units that will be better prepared to pursue their business with focus while also encouraging collaboration when required in order to build up that ecosystem. In addition, it allows Alibaba’s young leadership to further grow and develop as well.”

Image credit: STR / AFP / Getty Images

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