Shares in Alibaba climbed above USD 100 during yesterday’s trading after executive chairman Jack Ma said he would consider working with Apple on m-commerce strategies.
The rocket in stock price meant the e-commerce giant’s market capitalisation exceeded the USD 248 billion mark. Conversely, Wal-Mart’s market capitalisation fell to around USD 247.5 billion, according to intraday prices.
Ma – who is officially China’s richest person, with an estimated £12 billion fortune – made the announcement as he prepared to visit Hollywood in search of media partners.
Earlier this month Apple unveiled Apple Pay – its first mobile wallet – to the world. Alibaba already has Alipay – China’s largest payments service – under its belt, leaving plenty of scope for a potential global partnership between the two technology giants.
Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke of a potential deal between the two companies earlier this week, saying “We’re going to talk about getting married later this week,” said Cook. “I have the utmost respect for Jack. We love to partner with people who are wicked smart, that have flexible teams, that are product based and that push us.
“And we like to push them. Those partners we work the best with, and I think Jack has a company that is exactly like that.
“I love what he’s done. I think he’s a brilliant guy, I think he has brilliant people in the company. So if we can find some areas of common space, I love it.”
Ma added “I hope we can do something together”.