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The Seattle Times reports that while China-based Alibaba is known for being "one of the largest e-commerce companies in the world and an international rival to Amazon," it actually has achieved a scale "that generates vast amounts of data and tentacles that reach into everything from social media to financing and payment, navigation to digital entertainment."

According to the story, "Alibaba is invested in everything from health care to food delivery to entertainment. And it’s using its Yun­OS operating system in everything from smartphones to an Internet-enabled car to smart refrigerators and TVs.
Like Amazon, it’s also focused on providing cloud infrastructure to businesses with Aliyun — Alibaba Cloud."

Alibaba’s chief technology officer, Jeff Zhang, says that the company is able to mine customer information from not only its own e-commerce platforms, but also from a variety of sites owned by companies in which it has a financial stake. “We possess all these data from our ecosystem,” he says. “It’s rich and diverse.”
KC's View:
The point here is that Alibaba, like Amazon, seems to be focusing on the notion that it is all about data, and using it to communicate with and sell stuff to consumers. It is about satisfying consumer needs and anticipating desires. Ultimately, it is about compiling actionable data, and then actually acting on it.