Alibaba restructures into 25 units

Chinese e-commerce company reorganizes business into 25 smaller business units to increase flexibility and better focus on different markets.

Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group has announced it will reorganize into smaller business units to improve flexibility and better focus on different markets.

Alibaba spokesperson John Spelich told Bloomberg on Thursday the company will be divided into 25 units from seven. The heads of the new divisions will report to nine senior managers who in turn will report to chairman Jack Ma.

The 25 smaller business units include T-mall, B2C China business, B2B International business, B2C international business, Aliyun cloud computing business, Aliyun mobile operating system, and its music business.

According to Spelich, the company had similar restructuring in the past when Ma divided the consumer e-commerce arm, Taobao, into three units in 2011 to focus on different markets.

Chinese new site Sina Tech published an e-mail--reportedly sent by Ma to Alibaba employees--which said that the change will be the "most difficult" reorganization in Alibaba's 13-year history and a cultural revolution.

"We hope that each department will not be limited to their own benefits and key performance indicators (KPI) but put importance on the development of the whole ecosystem," the e-mail said.

Last year, Alibaba privatized by buying back a 27 percent stake  from shareholders.

In early December, Alibaba announced that transactions on its consumer shopping sites, Taobao Marketplace and Tmall, reached 1 trillion RMB (US$153 billion) as of Nov. 30 .