Something Big?

September 22, 2014

Ten years from now, will we look back on Alibaba’s IPO as a seminal moment in business history? Will it mark a moment in time that changed global trade, shopping habits and the balance of power in the world of technology? It is hard to imagine, given that most people in the U.S. have not even visited the Alibaba website, but it may be true. (More about China-based Alibaba is here.)

Foreign companies enter the U.S. market all the time and they have almost exclusively been from developed nations. For China, Alibaba’s IPO is a proud national moment. While China represents a giant economy and has progressed fantastically in the past 25 years, it is still a developing country and an enigma to many in the western world. Alibaba isn’t the only Chinese company that is globally competitive, but last week’s massive IPO ensures that they will have the scale to make an long-term impact. Not to mention that they dominate China’s marketplace – a marketplace that our own technology companies want to grow.

Will this moment cause the United States to accelerate innovation, think about immigration differently or change consumer buying habits? The U.S. has exported products and technology, music and shopping concepts around the world for a long time. Will the reverse also be true as Chinese companies bring their business models to our market? Does that scare us or make us better?

Kenny McDonald

One Columbus Update

  • This week, the One Columbus team will be in Washington, D.C. for meetings with the Brookings Institution on foreign direct investment as part of the Global Cities Exchange. We will also meet with companies and consultants in Chicago.
  • Next week, our team will hold a One Columbus Investor Update in celebration of MFG DAY and Ohio Manufacturing Month.
  • Last week, the Columbus Chamber announced that Jamie Dimon, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., will serve as Keynote Speaker at its 2015 Annual Meeting. Mark your calendar for February 12.