Saturday, December 2, 2017

A Helping Hand.....

In the spirit of the holidays I thought I would take some time to extend a helping hand and some unsolicited guidance to those of us who are less fortunate....those of us who have had, or are about to have, a tough year.

I am, of course, referring to the Alibaba analysts listed below and copied on this post, who participate in the incredibly entertaining Quarterly Investor Call:

Alan Hellawell - Deutsche Bank - alan.hellawell@db.com
Alex Yao - JP Morgan - alex.yao@jpmorgan.com
Alicia Yap - CITI - alicia.yap@citi.com
Chi Tsang - HSBC - chitsang@hsbc.com.hk
Eddie Leung - Bank of America/Merril Lynch - eddie.leung@baml.com
Gregory Zhao - Barclays - gregory.x.zhao@barclays.com
Piyush Mubayi - Goldman Sachs - piyush.mubayi@gs.com
Thomas Chong - Credit Suisse - thomas.chong@credit-suisse.com
Wendy Huang - Macquarie Capital - wendy.huang@macquarie.com

The purpose of this post is to help the above listed, wonderful, talented people make the painful transition from unwitting cogs in the Alibaba PR Machine to tough, effective, doggedly relentless analysts.  Hopefully, going forward they will begin asking the difficult questions, always promoting full disclosure and erring toward protecting the wealth of the investors who depend on them for solid, well vetted, objective and impartial recommendations.  Capital Markets only work when everyone does their job.

To that end, that's right, you guessed it.....I'm joining their team!

(Yaaayyy!  Awesome!!.....Wild Applause!!!)

So Let's Get Started!

Remember, as an analyst (or a Regulator), if you ask a question, and you don't get a straight answer, you don't have to recommend the stock (or approve the filing....Jay?....are you out there?).  I'd also  remind you, that if you aren't diligent about your responsibilities, your firms could be facing some significant legal exposure.  Especially if this thing is as far off the rails as I suspect it to be.   

Since I like to keep things direct and simple, I'd like to propose that prior to the next Investor Call that "we" (now that I've volunteered to join the team) ask Alibaba management to complete the three (3) simple schedules, described below.  Remember, as an analyst, auditor or regulator "we" hold all the cards.  If management doesn't want to provide the information, "we" can keep reminding them that they are the self-proclaimed masters of "data-driven-big-data".  They should be able to "push a button" and parse any/all available data, any way "we" want to see it.  In fact, in order to come up with their consolidated totals, they absolutely must know what the totals are comprised of.  Wouldn't you think?  If they insist on presenting the same goofy stuff they've been giving you/us for the last three years, "we" don't have to recommend the stock.  In fact, I know this is unheard of today, but "we" might even consider slapping a big fat "Sell" recommendation on this mess.

Remember, the absolute worst (non-illegal) thing Alibaba Management can do to "us" is kick "us" out of the club... "No More Investor Calls for YOU!".... which would certainly tell us something....and we'd likely be better off in the long run.  Getting bounced from the team would probably be less time consuming than negotiating those tricky plea bargains and testifying at the inevitable, incommodious Congressional hearings.  It might even eliminate a mandatory stay at the gray-bar hotel!  It's a win-win!  Remember, we have all the leverage, all we need to do is choose to use it.

Here's the problem:  We need to somehow get from the below gigantic mess ( page 88 of the IPO filing).....more then 600+ related consolidated entities now, with all sorts of contractual, dotted-line, "I'll scratch your back if you'll scratch mine" pseudo-quasi relationships.....and connect it somehow... to the financial statements in the 6-K's & 20-F's....no small feat indeed.



So how are we going to do it?  We are going to use the three (3) schedules I referenced above.  Here they are:
















These three (3) simple schedules should prove to be illuminating.

Schedule #1- GMV By Segment (if at all accurate) will tell us just how big this business really is.  To standardize the data, which Alibaba must report to the China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), I used the NBS categories like, Beverages, Tobacco and Liquor, Garments, Footwear, Hats, Knitwear, etc. and added the categories that Alibaba has become famous for (i.e. "broken" Jumbo Jets, Yachts, Bad Loans, Bankruptcy Assets, Knock-Offs, etc.) The total should "tie out" (an old fashioned accounting term) to the GMV reported in the 6-K/20-F.  In the end, we will be able to see just how much "Fast Moving Consumer Goods" are shipped by every segment of the business.

Schedule #2 - Segment "Data-Driven-Big-Data" (again, if non-fiction) will tell us whether the carrying values of the "Investees", intangibles and other "Questionable Assets" are reasonable/rational.  We need to see "Assets by Segment".  So, if we examine the column headings, we are asking Alibaba management to provide us with Asset Detail for the 22 Major Operating Segments listed on the schedule, "Other" (Alibaba management loves "Other"), The Guangzhou Mother Ship (CORP HQ) and "Eliminations" (an accounting process which eliminates all of the inter-company transactions).  Again, all of these Segments should "tie out" to the total reported on the 6-K/20-F Financials.

To bolster our understanding of the importance of this schedule, I'll rehash a snippet from my "Finding Inner Peace in Dharamsala.... Enlightenment" post:

Significant equity transactions, restructuring transactions, mergers and acquisitions and equity investments 

The above heading is actually one "roll off your tongue" topic under Note 4 of the most recent 20-F.  Note 4(c thru ae) of the 2017 20-F describes all of the unique deals, structures and devices Alibaba has used to build its e-commerce ecosystem over the last few years. According to the footnote the company spent US$33.9 Billion purchasing all of, or portions of 28 separate businesses along with an undetermined number of "other" businesses as described in footnote "m".  The general modus operandi with these transactions is to purchase shares in step transactions, revaluing the previously purchased shares, booking gains, as new funding becomes available at higher per share price.  These magic machinations have produced gains of US$7.3 Billion since the IPO.

Of greater interest, incredibly, EVERY investment they've ever made, even through the Stock Market crash of the Summer of 2015, has maintained or increased in value (except for that pesky "other" which lost about $1.5 million.)  They are clearly financial wizards!  Alternatively, perhaps they actually have made a few mistakes, and just haven't written them down/off yet.  (Alibaba Pictures and Alibaba Health carrying values alone are about $3 Billion greater than the Market Value.)

Remember, the September 30th, 2017 $87 Billion in asset value didn't even exist four (4) short years ago.  Let's see what the values assigned to these businesses really are and compare them to the Segment Income.  Hopefully, we can get a handle on that big "Blob" of "China Marketplace" and see exactly how their capital is allocated and how productively it's being used, even though Alibaba Management freely admits they do not manage their segments to any profitability metrics.  Per Joe Tsai, in an Alibaba PR Department video (provided by Bloomberg), "'free' is not a viable model......but patience is..".  To paraphrase, "we're not going to talk about profitability....don't worry everything will work out eventually....trust me".


Schedule #3 "Show Me The Money!" will tell us where all of Alibaba's cash is as of 12/31/17.  Alibaba had $22.4 Billion on the books at the end of September, so once their $7 Billion junk bond sale closes in the next week or two (it's probably being accelerated as I type), they should report something North of $30 Billion in Cash and Equivalents at year end.  I, for one, think it's important for investors to know what this balance is comprised of and where the money is.

Money moves around the globe at lightening speed nowadays, but through the magic of financial accounting, we're able to at least take a snap-shot at quarter/year end, reconcile the bank balances and simply "add the balances up"!  That shouldn't be too hard for a global "big data" savant like Alibaba.

Of course, they could just wire it all back to China on the last day of the month to cover their tracks, but I digress.  This schedule should, of course "tie out" to the "Cash and Equivalent's" line item on the Balance Sheet.  Note: We'd expect to see most of the cash in the PRC since Alibaba does most of it's business there, but since Alibaba is a global enterprise, and since the Mossack Fonseca and Appleby leaks, we investors now understand that cash could be hiding just about anywhere.

I put a few cute sounding examples like "Jack's Basement" and "Del Boca Vista Hedge Fund - Phase II" on the schedule, illustrating what we might expect to see.  But of course, I'm just having some fun here.  I'd expect Alibaba management to come up with more believable sounding fake entries and line item explanations on the schedule.   

Escrow Services

This next schedule will help us focus on a very common potential accounting/auditing problem.  The Alibaba 20-F (pg.16) goes through great lengths to explain the risks involved in the Alipay escrow services provided, but nowhere in the document does it describe the mechanics of the escrow service.

We rely on Alipay to conduct substantially all of the payment processing and all of the escrow services on our marketplaces

Simply put, cash, perhaps "escrow cash" comes in somewhere, and it's not "Alibaba's" cash.  It belongs to someone else (customer payments in anticipation of a Merchant shipment, perhaps).  Which is fine, as long as an offsetting liability (i.e. "cash due to someone else") is properly booked as a liability.  When "escrow" transactions are handled correctly, Assets, Liabilities and Revenues are properly recorded.  If not, as described below, as Sales (GMV & Revenue) increase and/or float increases, Assets and Revenues are overstated.  Liabilities are understated.  There's a good chance that some of this is going on somewhere in the "ecosystem".  It's referred to as "Revenue Recognition" issues in accounting parlance.  Here's an simple, understandable example of "Double Entry Bookkeeping" Revenue Recognition.


Interestingly, both methods get to the same result when the customer "deposit" and the Merchant payments are both processed (and goods are shipped), on the same day.  There are no "Revenue Recognition" issues at all.

In the above example, if float increases, let's say Alibaba doesn't pay the Merchant for 30 days, and our merchandise Sales remain constant at $100 a day,  in the "Correct" example, we are holding $3,000 of customer cash and $3,000 of Liabilities "permanently".  Revenue would remain constant at $1.00 per day and GMV would remain constant at $100/day as the transactions close. 

Under the "Incorrect Method" Revenue, GMV and Cash would be permanently overstated by $3,000.  The amount of the float.

Of course, I have no hard evidence of any of this going on at Alibaba or Alipay.  There's a cone of silence surrounding the inter-company relationship.  The financial statements and disclosures aren't at all clear as to what's going on.  For all we know, these transactions aren't even on the Alibaba books.  Maybe some are and some aren't?  The cash and escrow services could be on Ant Financial's books, or anywhere really.  Unfortunately, nobody on "our team" has access to these records.  We just see a big "Blob" of China Marketplace.

Hypothetically, if fake GMV really were $600 billion and Alibaba took 30 days to pay it's merchants, that would generate $49 Billion in interest-free cash/float sitting somewhere.  That's a huge number.  Of course, I'm just thinking out loud since "little birds" are telling me that Alibaba seems to be taking longer to pay merchants.  Perhaps some of my readers will chime in?


What to Expect From Our Efforts

Once Alibaba management gleefully and expeditiously completes these schedules (they are the sultans of big data) we can ask them to provide same for the last three (3) 20-F year(s) end figures and all the quarterly 6-K's.  Then we'll have something to analyze!

Now, being a realist, I understand that there may be some push back.  Alibaba management will claim that "it's against Chinese Law" to provide work-papers and documents, just like they, and all/most Chinese companies do, when dealing with the SEC.  Selling FMCG on the Internet is a closely guarded State Secret!

There's not a prayer in the world that they will provide the Schedule #1, #2 & #3 information voluntarily.

So, rather than saying:

"Well....if it's illegal, under Chinese law then our hands are tied.....but what the heck, let's still slap a Strong BUY on it since our underwriter's are on the same team!".

Let's remember, again, we analysts hold all the cards and it's our job, and our legal and moral responsibility to protect investors from shenanigans.  We'll need to get tougher.

When we refuse to buckle under, our team will be subjected to a full-court-press, invited to lavish "conferences" where we will be wined and dined, so we can fully understand the Alibaba magic.  We might even be given job offers and promises of lucrative financial arrangements, if we just choose to "see things their way".  It will be really hard for us to "push these checks back across the table", but for the sake of our investors, we'll have to do it.  We will be tempted to think... "after all, it's only an opinion, if I don't slap a Strong BUY rating on it, somebody else will.  What if I'm wrong?  I don't want to be the odd man out ....it'll ruin my career...and I really had my eye on that Condo in the Caymans."  Of course, we must resist.....and do our jobs.

If the "wining and dining" fails, unfortunately, some of us may just "go missing".  Some of us may not make it home.  I'd understand if some of my new team members don't want to go on. I'd respect your decision to quit.  We all have families and loved ones to consider.  But sadly, that's the price that we analysts must be willing to pay to insure accurate financial statements and the integrity of the markets.

The truth shall set you free....


Full Disclosure

Of course, in the interest of open dialogue, I want to make sure that you, my readers, understand, that if you have any questions at all about Alibaba's Financials, you should feel free to email any member of our team directly.  We are an open book.  Anything we know, you, the investors we serve, should know as well.  If a team member has had any non-public, previously unreported, material conversations with Alibaba management, we'll go through our notes and email and be happy to "provide color".  You all have our email addresses now.  This is the essence of a "public" company.  All investors, big and small, get the same information at the same time.  We'll anxiously await your "Q" and I hope you will appreciate our "A".

After reading my work, some of our team members (Specifically, Alicia at Citi; Thomas at Credit Suisse; Piyush at Goldman and Alex at JP Morgan) might also be thinking about frantically running into to their respective bond underwriters offices at their firms, letting them know that there may be a problem with Alibaba's financials, and consequently, the $7 Billion Bond issue that they are about to sell, might be, to use an industry term of art, "dog-shit".  In order to protect our team members and their firms from the inevitable legal fallout, I wouldn't be adverse to that course of action.

"Should I Short It?"

Over the last few weeks I've fielded this question more often than I care to count.  I've long opined that this is a "Blutarsky Stock".....(Zero...point...Zero).

Surprisingly, and I must admit, I was a little vague on this in a post last summer entitled  Follow Up Thoughts on..."I would Never Say...(Part Deux)...."

The answer to the "Should I Short it?" Question is:

This has always been a "Sell", but it's never been a "Short".

This beast is Teflon....it could go to $300 unless Mr. Market figures this out.

Of course, it may be a "Short" at some point, but we'd need to see a really strong sign that the Chinese Government is ready to capitulate....we're not there yet.

I know, of course, you're dumbfounded, confused and flummoxed by that statement.  What in the world does the Chinese government have to do with the BABA stock price?

I also know, that it will take a while for this to sink in.  Take a pause and clear your mind.

I thought it to be far fetched at first as well.  Let me elaborate.  Simply put, if you are a US Shareholder and you want to short Alibaba....the Peoples Bank of China is on the other side of your trade.  Of course, this is un-proveable, other than the presumption that what was disclosed in the MF-ers (Mossack Fonseca) Panama Papers and Appelby leaks is absolutely happening in the Caymans and the BVI as I type.  Note the list of Chinese "Royalty" caught in the MF-ers net.  Disturbing to say the least.

I've re-posted a list of the Alibaba insider controlled vehicles (pg. 250 of the Original IPO Documents from 2014).  We note that nearly all of the US$ share value was housed in Caribbean Financial Institutions shortly after the IPO, per the footnotes.  Also note that roughly 80% of the shares, prior to the lockup expiration, were held by insiders.  Moreover, this schedule is three years old.  There is/was absolutely nothing preventing China's elite from starting oodles of additional shells to facilitate this state sponsored master plan going forward.

Think of it this way, each of these insider controlled investment companies, hedge funds and such (OFI's or "Other Financial Intermediaries") borrowed (and continue to borrow)  "newly printed" money from Chinese banks  (Note: The PBOC just discovered that they had an additional US$ 24 Trillion in Shadow Debt on the books...Ooooppsss!)

With the indispensable aid of US Banks, Caribbean offices and trading desks, the investment companies and hedge funds convert the RMB to US$ with the expectation that the shell companies will support the shares.  Since the money isn't "real" and the borrowers have no intention of ever paying any of the loans back to the Chinese banks (they'll be rolled over forever like most Chinese debt), much like the 40 year mis-priced junk bonds Alibaba just filed to float, the borrowers have nothing to lose.  They need US$ to support the stock, borrowing in the US credit markets and/or converting "Mao-nopoly money" to US$.  They coordinate and keep the Ponzi going.  I've often said that if I could just print money in my basement I'd own half of Cleveland (I'm a simple man with limited vision) and some prime island property in short order.....if I made a bad investment it wouldn't matter!  I'd just print more money.

My working theory is that the initial IPO Money and the proceeds from the two US Bond issues, (the original $8 Billion from 2016 and the pending $7 Billion) were/will be transferred to Cayman accounts (or anywhere there's a Banker/Broker willing to provide market access) and used to purchase/trade BABA ADRs anonymously, permanently propping up the stock.  This would be another plausible explanation for Alibaba's unquenchable thirst for USD$ when they do comparatively little business outside of China.


"Bailing Out" 

So let's fast forward to today.  Per Yahoo Finance, Institutions and Mutual Funds have been snapping up Alibaba shares at a consistent pace.  Alibaba Insiders silently sold off nearly 30% of the company in just three short years.  Why in the world would all of these insiders bail out on this gold mine?
















Half of Alibaba is now owned primarily and accidentally by dumb-ass US Investors (aka you & me).  Unfortunately, most of the shares are held in our Profit Sharing Plans, SEP's, IRA's, Pension Plans, 401k Plans, ETF's, Endowments and other vehicles that we don't check every day or are just told by money managers to "trust me" and play the part of Rip Van Winkle, betting on America for the long haul.  The recurring pitch is that, hopefully, when we wake up in 20 years and check our portfolios we'll be rich and able to retire.  At least that's the plan.

This cancer has now spread to 1,672 institutions with nearly half of those shares ($88 Billion @ $190/share) held by the "Top 20".    These funds are managed by the likes of Blackrock, T.Rowe Price, State Street, Oppenheimer, Vanguard, iShares, etc.  Even if you are not "into" finance, these names should ring a bell.  You probably have some money invested with them....but you might not even know it.































So Now What?

The first step in any twelve (12) step process is to admit you have a problem.  Yes America, we've been snookered.  We've been hosed, screwed, ripped-off, etc. once again by our friendly all-American Investment Bankers, this time, unwittingly (or not) in cahoots with the Chinese government.  They, unfortunately, have chosen not to "push the checks back across the table".  There's no way around it.  All we can do now is try to limit the damage and move forward.

If you doubt my thesis, ask yourself the following, relatively long, drawn out, rambling "if/then" question below:

If you think my thesis is wrong, and you really, truly believe that:
  • The roughly US$8 Trillion, of rapidly expanding Caymans money, much of it Chinese, is really used for charitable, philanthropic purposes (To my knowledge Mother Theresa didn't have any Cayman accounts), and:
  • Alibaba is a historic model of "asset lite"capital efficiency creating $87 Billion in incredible balance sheet value, most of which are "intangible" assets, in just four short years, and:
  • All of the "Jumbo Jet", "Yacht", "Industrial Goods", "Loans", "Knock-Offs" and "Busted Real-Estate" listings are legitimate "Fast Moving Consumer Goods", and:
  • Alibaba's "Singles Day" $25 Billion GMV (the equivalent "work" of 51 million people in one day....140,000 Sears/Kmart Employees x 365 days) is accurate/real,  and:
  • Chinese Bankers have lost their competitive fire and are willing to let this golden goose procure financing exclusively off-shore, and:
  • The "On Shore CNY"/"Off Shore CNH" dual currency system, where the "Off Shore" supply is controlled as tight as a drum to create the illusion of real trade value, while the "On-Shore" supply is printed faster than the Deutsche Mark in the post WWI Wiemar Republic, is just a quirky, non-purposeful aberration of Chinese Monetary Policy, and:  
  • Alibaba continually shows up on the doorstep of US Investment Banks begging for US$ when 90% of their business is transacted in RMB, and: 
  • The Bookrunners (JP Morgan, Citi, Goldman, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, et. al.)  of the brand spanking new US$7 Billion plus Junk Bond issue (mis-priced at only 120 bpts. over US Treasuries) are selling 40 year "BABA Bonds" as an altruistic, joint, "hands across the water" gesture, without regard to compensation and fees, and:   
  • The 600+ related, consolidated, entities scattered all over the planet, have nothing to do with money-laundering and are indeed the most efficient way to run this enterprise, creating millions of as yet undefined future jobs in America, and:
  • The "franchise" office of PWC Hong Kong can effectively audit and verify the financial statements of these 600+ related, consolidated entities, with a few dozen staff, for approximately the same fee that PWC US would charge to audit a large domestic, auto dealership, and:
  • Jack, Joe, Daniel and Maggie are somehow untouchable, cutting edge entrepreneurs, operating as rebellious, disruptors to the appall and chagrin of the helpless, powerless, Chinese Communist Party, and:
  • By management's own account, Alibaba is the most profitable business in history, beyond anyone's wildest imagination, and:
  • You believe that American Financial and Political Leadership is both smart enough and honest enough (i.e. ..they patriotically push the huge checks back across the table) to prevent any "systemic financial contagion that nobody could possibly anticipate" from ever again happening.....like it has been happening roughly every decade since I was a little boy. 
Then, if all of that makes perfect sense to you, you're telling me there's a chance:
  • That the Chinese government, a government that believes North Korea to be good neighbor and human rights standard bearer; a government that controls every aspect of its society, routinely grabbing it's executives for re-indoctrination sessions; a government that ignores property rights, thinks nothing of  restricting Western, "subversive" media content, including this silly little blog;  a government that goes out of its way to "fake" its global image (Hey...we all have issues) and is, indeed, the very definition of an iron handed, good-old-boy institution......would ever, ever, ever in a million years, want to give up HALF (80% if you count Softbank) of Alibaba, this crown jewel, the secret sauce, the cornerstone of their new Internet economy, to a bunch of ignorant American and non-Chinese Investors?  Huh?....Really?...
Why the hell would they do that?
Although I don't, and would never, presume to give anyone financial advice, I'm hoping that this thing holds together at least a little longer so that some of you Leo DiCaprios about to be sucked under by this sinking barge can get to a life boat.  Please, everyone, don't panic.  Don't make any sudden moves.  Hang onto a deck chair, slip into your flotation device and calmly move toward the rail.

If US Investors just start dollar-cost-averaging out of this leaking scow, and the Chinese government doesn't notice, we might stay afloat for awhile.  (This blog is blocked in China, so unless the Alibaba PR department spills the beans, which would get them called into the bosses office for screwing up the CCP master plan, we should be able to keep Xi and the PBOC from figuring out that we've figured this out.... at least for a little longer.)  Maybe we can sell another 10%-20% of this beast back to China's elite, above our cost, before it hits the propellers.

So what if we didn't triple our money?... at least we didn't take a huge loss... and we live to fight another day.  If we move slowly and deliberately perhaps we can get out of this with minimal damage.  The best result we can hope for is that China's "Royalty" will be selling Alibaba shares to other China "Royalty" through Caymans shell corps. on the NYSE forever, continuing to drive up the stock price, and our indexes, without any meaningful US Investor involvement.

Ironic, to say the least.

Holy Cats!

Would ya' look at that.....Alibaba was down 8.5% last week in heavy volume....$40 Billion of Market Cap gone.....poof!

Perhaps some decision makers are starting to take a look at my work?  It looks like the Caymans crew and the Alibaba PR Department are going to be putting in some OT for the next couple of weeks.....


Oh....Crud.....One More Thing....

One of my readers emailed me this Bloomberg photo.  It's a hoot.  At first blush it looks like a "Jersey Landfill"....(Oh great....now I'm going to get hate comments and e-mail from New Jersey readers....come on man, you have to admit you have huge landfills!....Sheeeshh)... Anyway, this picture shows junk as far as the wide-angle lens can see, being shoveled around by hard working, industrious, grossly-underpaid Chinese workers while China's elite count their billions socked away in the Caymans, but it's actually a highly efficient sorting hub for ZTO Express! (ZTO:NYSE US$11 Billion Market Cap)  ZTO is yet another goofy Cayman Islands domiciled business ....and one of Alibaba's largest "partners".

Here's are a couple of tidbits from their 9/30/2016 F1:

We are a leading express delivery company in China and one of the largest express delivery companies globally, in terms of total parcel volume in 2015, according to the iResearch Report.

Operational efficiency and cost management are critical to the success of an express delivery business. We have achieved strong operational efficiency through centralized control and management of 74 sorting hubs and a fleet of over 3,300 trucks, route planning and optimization, as well as our proprietary waybill tracking system and transportation management system. Our operational efficiency and economies of scale have resulted in our cost leadership with unit cost per parcel.

From my perspective, the biggest problem with this stock is that they misnamed it.  Rather than ZTO, the moniker should have been WTF Express.

How in the world does this stuff get listed on US exchanges?  Jeeezzzzus.... I mean really?
























Additional Info....

Leo Dicaprio
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=en8SRbLX6t8

Alibaba PR Video - Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2017-09-15/inside-alibaba-jack-ma-on-disruption-and-dominance-video

ZTO Express - F1
https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1677250/000104746916015850/a2229567zf-1.htm

11/17 Bond Issue Analysis
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/this-new-alibaba-bond-has-a-lesson-for-the-stock-crowd-gadfly/2017/11/29/aa743f9c-d4d3-11e7-9ad9-ca0619edfa05_story.html?utm_term=.7d5c5729e948

BABA Bond Issue - Prospects
https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1577552/000104746917007364/a2233928z424b2.htm 

NBS October Stats
http://www.stats.gov.cn/english/PressRelease/201711/t20171115_1553775.html

Alibaba - Big Brother
https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-tech-giants-have-a-second-job-helping-the-government-see-everything-1512056284?cx_testId=16&cx_testVariant=cx&cx_artPos=2&cx_tag=contextual&cx_navSource=newsReel

Gone Fishing
http://money.cnn.com/2017/06/14/investing/china-missing-executives-anbang/index.html

Friday, November 24, 2017

A Thanksgiving Miracle.....


I was looking at the stats on my blog on Wednesday and wondered why my page views skyrocketed.....10x my usual daily volume and accelerating.....I followed the trail of referring sites, really not understanding what was going on, and here's the question I couldn't come to grips with:

What are the odds that three years ago, an Insurance Agent in Cleveland, Ohio (me) would research a Chinese Internet stock (Alibaba) in contemplation of buying some shares.  His (my) research would prove to be so fascinating to him (me) that he (me) would start a blog about this rabbit hole, starting relationships with wonderful, enlightening smart, talented people all over the world.... and eventually (earlier this week), Mark Cuban would read it and cite it as his sole source to begin a dialogue with the White House on global financial/systemic risk.

I'd thought the odds of something like that happening might be roughly zero.....until I confirmed, with Mr.Cuban, that it actually happened.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-22/mark-cuban-asks-trump-if-he-knows-about-alibaba-s-impact-on-u-s

















I've also posted Tim Culpan's analysis of the Tweet.  I enjoy Tim's work and he seems to enjoy my take(s).  We've tussled with this before, but Tim, as an investor and an analyst, when I see misrepresentations as silly as Alibaba's, how can we be sure that anything (Revenue, Carrying Values, etc.) are even remotely accurate?  As an Auditor, I've never felt the urge, after quantifying and documenting a significant, material misrepresentation, to say "well...that was just one error......I'm sure the rest of the financial statements are Ok."  I always look further....and nearly always find more issues.   Anyway, food for thought....

https://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2017-11-23/mark-cuban-is-right-but-a-tweet-s-not-enough?utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=bd&utm_campaign=headline&cmpId=yhoo.headline&yptr=yahoo


The Alibaba Response

Apparently, the Alibaba PR machine got wind of this and pumped a ton of effort into making sure that the Bloomberg page on which Mr. Cuban initially made his comment, is now filled with Jack Ma & Alibaba PR videos.  The initial article simply had a the above stock photo of Mr. Cuban sitting in a chair wearing a dark sweater.  That photo from the original  Gerrit De Vynck "Mark Cuban Asks Trump If He Knows About Alibaba's Impact on U.S." piece is long gone.

Going further, the Alibaba PR Department presented their stunning explanation (again through Bloomberg) on Wednesday.  Apparently this GMV hullabaloo is all a huge misunderstanding.  It's all about the definition of  "Fast Moving Consumer Goods" (FMCG).   They provided a link to a Taobao auction which clears things up.  They recently sold two (2) "broken" 747 Jumbo Jets (4 engines included), apparently sight-unseen, for the bargain price of just US$ 24 million each!  To the chagrin of US Aviation enthusiasts, the auction just closed, so if you were in the market for a deeply discounted Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet as one of your Black-Friday stocking stuffers, you are out of luck.

The inescapable logic here is that, Jumbo Jets are  really "fast moving" (600 mph) and they are purchased by a "consumer", so they, of course, by definition, are "Fast Moving Consumer Goods".

The value added by Taobao to this transaction must be enormous......without Taobao how would potential buyers around the world even know that there are not one, but two "broken" 747's for sale?  A "broken" Boeing 747 could be hiding just about anywhere.

The article also mentions how the website has lots of "bad assets" like real estate, industrial equipment and repossessed vehicles.   I really wish they would have explained this a little better in the Investor Call and the filings.  I don't remember them discussing "Broken Jumbo Jets", "Bad Debts" and "Foreclosed Property" at all.  Honest mistake I guess. 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-22/alibaba-s-taobao-just-auctioned-off-two-boeing-747-planes






















As an aside, an "un-broken" 2016 747 Cargo Jet, if purchased directly from Boeing would cost about US$500 million depending on options, so $24 million for a "fixer-upper" is quite a deal.  I'm just hoping, based on the way this deal was put together, that neither of these two potential flaming meteorites find their way into US Airspace.

So Let's Dig a Little Further....Oh Look!....There's More.....

If we examine the above we see two (2) more excellent categories for boat-loads (or should I say Jumbo Jet loads) of even more great GMV.   These categories are, of course "Litigation Assets" and "Monetary Assets" (i.e. foreclosures, bad loans, etc.)

Here are a few of the 561,680 "Litigation Assets" that are out there.  The "asking price" is, presumably included in GMV when it's listed, as per the SEC filings discussed in the prior "Blob" post that started this whole discussion.  The asking price of each of these are millions of US$.
https://zc-paimai.taobao.com/list/0_______56950002_6.htm?spm=a219w.7474998.miniNav.2.dUtufm&st_param=1&auction_start_seg=-1























Let's drill down into the second listing above.  RMB 198.8 Million.  or US$30.6 Million asking price (at RMB 6.5 = US $1.00).  Sadly, it's yet another failed development project.    Unfortunately, this listing also closed a while ago, so if any of you US construction company managers were looking for additional overseas work to keep your crews busy over the holidays, you were too slow on the trigger.  In the new global economy it's important to snap these deals up without even thinking about it.  After all, you'd have the full faith and credit of Alibaba and the Chinese Judicial system behind you.  What could possibly go wrong?

https://sf.taobao.com/sf_item/527253527706.htm?spm=a219w.7474998.paiList.2.iu1Vg2





















When we dig into it, this was yet another amazing deal that US Investors missed out on.  The original developer managed to complete 50,000 sft. (82 Residential Units) that were either sold or seized.  The remaining 3.8 Million sq. ft. is just waiting for an enterprising, industrious, well-capitalized developer to jump in, complete and sell off at a huge profit.  It's a shame that the original developer could only complete 1% of his dream before he went bust.....they must have made an error two on those tricky cash flow projections, but hey, that happens.  Here's a snippet from the Court Announcement per Google translator.  The full order/announcement is still available on the site, at least for now......you should probably look at it quickly since once the Alibaba PR department sees this post, I'd imagine that this listing will disappear as quickly as the developers equity did.

Auction notice (real estate)

      Fourth Beijing Intermediate People's Court will be held at 10:00 on March 2016 to at 10:00 on March 2016 8th 9th stop (except for delays) in Beijing Fourth Intermediate People's Court carried out judicial auction network platform Taobao public live auction action, now announced as follows:
      First, the auction target:
      Located in No.77 Wulihe Street, Heping District, Shenyang, No. 81 Wulihe No., No.348 Youth Avenue and construction in progress, it is located in the core of Shenyang City with convenient transportation and complete supporting facilities. This auction excludes the gross floor area that has been sold and seized by other courts. After deducting 82 units sold (with a gross floor area of ​​5131.62 square meters), 6 sets of waiting-to-be-checked building area of ​​409.81 square meters.
      The auction total construction area of ​​429902.57 square meters.
      Among them, the total ground floor construction area is 319,808.57 square meters (including 134968.57 square meters for houses, 183840 square meters for commercial buildings, 1,000 square meters for office buildings, property houses and event rooms).
      Underground total construction area of ​​110094 square meters (including 19300 square meters of underground business, garage, equipment and other space 90,794 square meters); share of construction area of ​​41570.46 square meters.
      Starting price: 1981586800 yuan, margin: 100000000 yuan, price increase: 500000 yuan.

Keep in mind that this is only one (1) of 561,680 listings. I selected it because it was one of the biggest (by dollar value) out there and thought, after reviewing a few of these, that it had a sufficient amount of detail to effectively describe what's really going on here.  Also, it is indeed a holiday weekend, so family events, visits with friends and turkey dinner(s) prevented me from reviewing all 561,680 listings to document the oddities and anomalies that I'm pretty sure I'd find.  As always, I invite all of my readers to "click away".  If you find something interesting feel free to let me know.

I've also received many comments from readers, similar to Tim's take above, that Alibaba is a media and advertising company and GMV just doesn't matter that much.  In other words "So what if it;s overstated?"  My last two posts focused almost exclusively on GMV, primarily because the representations in the Investor Call and the filings are just so outrageous when we compare them to what's actually being sold and reported.  I'd again refer you to my "Finding Inner Peace in Dharamsala..... and thoughts on the Alibaba 20F" where I describe the laundry list of things I'd be digging into if I were the SEC or a PWC auditor.  Again, when I find one cockroach, I don't immediately assume that "that's the only one."

A Final Note

I'd of course like to acknowledge and thank the Alibaba PR Machine (through Bloomberg) for their presumed contribution to this post.

As an aside, and you, my readers, can do this too, I typed "747", "Jumbo Jet", "Litigation Assets" and "Monetary Assets" into the EBay and Amazon search boxes and nothing relevant was returned.  Oddly, you can indeed by a 747 brake drum and lots of books on bankruptcy on Amazon/Ebay, but no "real" planes, failed construction projects or bad loans.  That's so weird!.....how can Amazon and Ebay possibly survive without these huge money making FMCG categories?

Finally, since Mr. Cuban cited my blog, I've been inundated with replies/comments that, to put it mildly, disagree with my analysis.  If you disagree with me, that's fine, I always enjoy hearing alternative points of view.  I'm happy to post any relevant content.  However, based on the amount of work this is causing me, I feel compelled to repeat my rules for posting reader comments:

1,) No profanity.  This is a family friendly site.  i.e.) if your comment is simply "You are a F-ing moron" or something similar, your comment will not get through and you've wasted your (and my) valuable time.

2.) You MUST tell me why you believe I am a moron.  The correct format is: "You are a complete moron, and here's why".....followed by your non-profane take and applicable citations.


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
















Friday, November 17, 2017

The Blob.....

As many of you know, I've been off the grid in rural India for the last few weeks.  As I've also mentioned, I love my trips to India....I get a chance to regroup, reset, meet wonderful people and think about things I rarely take the time to think about.  It's all about perspective.

Anyway, while I was traveling, I had a chance to peruse the Alibaba September Quarter figures, Press Release, 6K, Investor Presentation and of course, took some time to listen to the always entertaining Investor Call.  Shortly thereafter, Alibaba had reported their amazing "Singles Day" sales figure of  $25.3 Billion of fake GMV.

To put this figure in perspective,  this year, "Singles Day" GMV came in at just a few billion more than the annual revenue of Sears/K-Mart (140,000 employees and 1,500 locations world-wide)..... again, I'll repeat that..... Alibaba sold, shipped and delivered the annual, global, sales volume of Sears/K-Mart in just one day!  ....800 Million orders to deliver!  Incredible!  Bravo!.....all those guys on the tuk-tuks, scooters and bicycles must be exhausted......


The Alibaba business model has triumphed once again.  It's now obvious that UPS, FedEx, DHL, et al, have it all wrong.  Why in the world would anyone invest in all of that expensive GPS, scanning, package tracking automation and logistics hardware when you can just dump your packages on the sidewalk and let homeless people figure out how to get them where they are supposed to go?  Again, the wizardry of Alibaba's ecosystem  has rewritten the global-logistics playbook.  Absolute genius....

Photos Courtesy of the NYT & Getty Images

The Investor Call

The Investor Call, with all of its suspense, of course, reminded me of one of the greatest motion picture epics of all time.  Many Cinephiles consider this flick to be the late, great, Steve McQueen's quintessential work. That's right, I am of course referring to that trans-generational, 1958 classic, "The Blob"

From the trailer:

....."It's kinda like a mass that keeps getting bigger and bigger...."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkOfeSNsWpM 

Like the Blob, Alibaba's financial misrepresentations, as absurd as they are, have grown to the point where its oozing tentacles of slime have crept into every corner the world's financial system. 

I won't bother to dissect the numbers any more than I have in the past, but suffice it to say that the same accounting shenanigans I've discussed herein, every quarter since the IPO in September of 2014 are still alive and well.  (See my last 20F analysis for a little more detail: "Finding Inner Peace in Dharamsala....and thoughts on the Alibaba 20F....")

Everything is steady as she goes.....Gigantic, unbelievable "asset-lite" growth, huge fake efficiencies and synergies abound.  Asset write-ups and inflated carrying values of "Questionable Assets" scattered across the books of more than six hundred (600) un-auditable, consolidated entities are omnipresent.  Alibaba Pictures and Alibaba Health are carried on the books at roughly $3 Billion more than their current, publicly traded market caps would support.  A Billion dollars of loans to insiders (See: Wasu Holdings, Simon Xie & Shi Yuzhu) are outstanding with a good chance that they will be looking for even more Alibaba shareholder money soon.

In the call, management reinforced their philosophy that they never manage a business to a profit/margin or apparently any sort of target/metric so they, of course, never feel compelled to offer any detailed explanation or meaningful guidance on the numbers, product mix or how they make their money....... except that everything will most likely be really good forever.  It's all about delivering nebulously defined "value".  The call was, of course, capped off with the usual, odd, irrelevant, softball questions posed by the religiously devoted cadre of analysts.  Note that the analysts all refer to the business as "our segments" or "our strategy" or "how are we going to expand...."....as though they are part of the Alibaba management team.  Call transcript posted below courtesy of Seeking Alpha.  Using our patented Dick Fuld Banker-Speak Translator (BST), I'll just take a minute to analyze the first analyst's question.  I'm not necessarily picking on Eddie Leung here, he seems like a really nice guy, but he happened to ask the first question.  No need to go deeper into the Q&A unless you are a glutton for punishment, It just gets worse from here:

Eddie Leung - Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Good evening. Thank you for taking my questions. I have two questions. One is on Cainiao. Could you share your thought on the long-term positioning of Cainiao? Again, as the professional logistic service providers in China and globally, how to differentiate and perhaps cooperate in logistics?
And then secondly, on New Retail, have we seen any change in the way that we cooperate with some of our brands and merchants across our multiple channels after we developed our offline channel recently? Thank you.
BST: "First, how the hell are you going to deliver $25 Billion of merchandise using push carts, bicycles and homeless people?  When you dump the packages on the sidewalk, what percentage of the merchandise is stolen?  Second, this is the first full quarter you've consolidated InTime as your "new retail"... the InTime acquisition?.... you know, where you just paid $3 Billion for a bunch of broken down department stores and vacant shopping malls?.... so you can dump fake knock-off merchandise and overstock junk in these stores?....that way photographers from the New York Times won't snap pictures of homeless people picking through the stuff scattered all over the sidewalks?" 
DT Note:  The correct response to this question should have been:  "Regarding Cainiao, I'll refer you to the detailed schedule XX of the 6K (which unfortunately doesn't exist) describing, by region/zone the packages/deliveries, product mix and associated costs by product category.  As for Intime, I'll refer you to the segment P&L's & Balance Sheets in Appendicix XX of the 6K (also doesn't exist) which describe, in detail the breakdown between On-Line and Off-Line GMV, Revenue and cost of operations, showing precisely what we're selling, where we're selling it and how profitable it is compared to our detailed projections. (which also don't exist)"  
This is what we got:
Response: CEO Daniel Yong Zhang - Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
"Eddie, this is Daniel. I'd like to answer your questions. For the first one, Cainiao. Actually, Cainiao is positioned as a smart logistic platform. Why smart is because this should be a data-driven logistics platform. We truly believe that the data is the most important asset which can generate value for the partners in the Cainiao ecosystem. And so what we do is that we work closely with our partners in not only warehousing, but also delivery network to enable them to optimize their operation. So we will continue this strategy and which is the partnership strategy and continue to work closely with our partners in China and in the world.
And the key thing is that the data-driven logistic network, actually we are – Cainiao is not going to be a logistic company and we are not interested into building another logistics company. Instead, we will work with a lot of logistic companies, delivery companies to build a network across the world.
And for your second question, New Retail, I would say actually, our New Retail strategy is very clear and we will continue to execute our New Retail strategy and to partner with the offline retailers in key categories such as in fashion categories, we work with Intime. In consumer electronics, we work with Sony. In food and FMCG categories, we work with Bailian and Sanjiang. And recently, we invest another regional retailer, which is (29:13) and we will work closely with them to empower them with our prospective (29:19) technology.
Second is about – is a valid New Retail form or format to enable them to operate efficiently. So I think this is our New Retail strategy, but we're still in early stage. And our goal is to help the whole New Retail (29:40) world to be upgraded into a digital operation. So actually we are on our way. Thank you."
BST: "I have no F-ing idea what I'm talking about and I can't give you any detailed information because it doesn't exist, all of these numbers are made up, so I'll just use words like 'partner', 'digital', 'data' and hope that you think I'm brilliant.  We don't need to build a logistics company since our homeless people on bicycles are doing just fine. Our retail strategy is very clear, you should already know what it is, I think, maybe not, but anyway, it's all about data.....data, data, data.  We have lots of smart, logistics data, and on-line, off-line data logistics partners and we are global across the world because of  our data.  We are going to ship things to all sorts of dumpy convenience stores, kiosks and partners for people to pick up.  It's a better model than dumping the stuff on sidewalks. When it rains, packages get soggy and customers bitch.  We're going to ship $25 billion of fake GMV in one day next week, Nicole Kidman will be at the party, we paid her big bucks to show up, ooopsss Jack told me to not to say that, but we are at the beginning stages of helping the world.  Our on-line, off-line data-driven-big-data will allow us to sell more data-driven fake junk to everyone on the planet on mobile apps, which will track everyone so the CCP knows exactly where they are and what they are doing.  Did I mention that we are experts at big data?  Oh....and Amazon sucks.  Thank you."   

So really, what is this gigantic "blob" of "China Commerce" GMV  and the related revenue comprised of?  Who knows?

Alibaba management incessantly references their huge investment in infrastructure that enables them to sell supposedly gigantic volumes of Consumer Electronics, Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Clothing, Grocery, etc. yet they have never disclosed how much of same is sold through their platform(s).  How can they publish a gigantic $25.3 Billion, one day GMV total and not know what its components are?  I thought that Joe, Daniel and Maggie were the ring masters of this big-data circus?  They should know these numbers off the top of their head and disclose them.

For example.....

You can buy a million dollar yacht......just put it on your MasterCard/Visa or Alipay.....it would be nice to know how many yachts they sell on-line.

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?pm=a230r.1.14.203.2221f271xw1ITD&id=555642734072&ns=1&abbucket=7#detail


Or perhaps you'd like a luxurious Prada hand bag.....apparently sold by authorized and licensed Prada distributors like "wishload flagship store" and "buyfine overseas flagship store".

https://s.taobao.com/search?q=prada&type=p&tmhkh5=&spm=a21wu.241046-us.a2227oh.d100&from=sea_1_searchbutton&catId=100&sort=price-desc



Or maybe you need a few hundred tons of steel pipe......

https://www.alibaba.com/trade/search?fsb=y&IndexArea=product_en&CatId=&SearchText=steel+pipes


...or sheet steel.....
https://www.alibaba.com/trade/search?fsb=y&IndexArea=product_en&CatId=&SearchText=steel+sheet

Perhaps a new building?...put a skyscraper on Visa/Mastercard!
https://www.alibaba.com/trade/search?fsb=y&IndexArea=product_en&CatId=&SearchText=commercial+building



Or land for sale in Estonia or Iran?....note the "smart data" algorithm on the right of the page.....people who liked "land in Estonia" also apparently liked "kitchen cleaners and car wash soap"....and I actually could have "chatted" with the creepy looking guy shown in this listing, but my IT Department advised against it.....

https://www.alibaba.com/trade/search?fsb=y&IndexArea=product_en&CatId=&SearchText=land


None of the above ridiculous transactions have anything to do with consumer goods and never "close" on the platform, yet they are there for a reason.  They are included in GMV.  They are "reported" by the seller (presumably for a fee?).....Think Craig's List....not Amazon.

The SEC correspondence from 2014 was illuminating......everything about this business is a misdirection or a half truth.....See pg 5, where Alibaba management opines that the GMV metric is a critical part of their fake operating/reporting framework and that it's perfectly legitimate for them to report transactions that were never shipped or closed.


We might ask, if GMV is so important, why have they never provided any detail as to its composition/mix, or oddly enough, are only reporting GMV twice a year now. (on "Singles Day" and an annual "Blob" in the 20F)   Is it somehow no longer important?

In fact, back in 2016 under Mary Jo White, the SEC started looking into, among other things, the possibility that there are issues with Alibaba's GMV reporting.  You'll also notice that, on page 60 of the above answers to the SEC correspondence, one of the signor/architects of the aforementioned, dubious Alibaba responses, was a Sullivan & Cromwell Attorney by the name of Jay Clayton, who also now happens to be the newly appointed Chairman of the SEC.  As they say....a fortuitous coincidence indeed.

I'd invite all of my readers to check this out for yourselves.....take a few minutes to browse the Alibaba sites, Tmall, Taobao, Alibaba.com, AliExpress, 1688, and type in luxury brands (Gucci, Prada, Coach, etc.) industrial goods, etc., sort by price (high to low) and see what you get.  It's a hoot....you can buy single malt Scotch and Kentucky bourbon made in China!.....who knew?  Let your eyes be the judge as to whether Mr. Clayton's position, while representing Alibaba, had any merit at all.

My guess is that "real" consumer goods GMV actually delivered is probably less than a third of what they report......yet investors believe these inflated numbers...... I suppose, because it's "China"....and in hindsight, perhaps because Jay Clayton got a (presumably) sizable paycheck to sign off on it.

Show Me The Money!

Finally, with all of this Revenue and activity, all of this purported income and cash flow....a little bird told me that Alibaba will be looking to the US Bond Market for more funding in the very near future, riding the wave of the latest fake numbers.  They'll be looking for something in the range of $5 Billion to $8 Billion.  The big question is, if the business is actually generating dump trucks full of money as they claim, why have they maxed out their bank lines of credit and why do they once again need to go running to the US credit markets for cash ???....in addition, why in the world don't Chinese Banks want a piece of this gold mine?  They should be clamoring to lend money to this national treasure.  There isn't one Chinese Bank materially involved in financing this mess, at least that I can see.  This, to me, is incredible.  Ninety percent (90%) of Alibaba's business is in China, they need RMB....not dollars....what gives?

Perhaps their "Authorized Representative" Don Puglisi would know the answers.  Every foreign company listed on a US Exchange must have an Authorized Representative in the United States and Don is Alibaba's man, per the original F-1.   Per Bloomberg, Don also seems to be a serial "Authorized Representative", collecting checks to represent dozens of foreign businesses in the United States, all run out of his three (3) person office in Newark, Delaware.    Lots of irons in the fire.  I can't imagine how, at his age, he can keep it all straight.  He's a busy man.  If I were him I would have retired long ago, but apparently "80 is the new 50"!  On the other hand, I, for one, think it's absolutely marvelous that a gigantic global enterprise like Alibaba was able to give a "little guy" like Don the chance to become a big time international player.  It must be a dream come true for him. 

Looking at the big picture, perhaps Don's job as an Authorized Representative was just the first of the "Million US Jobs" that Jack told the White House he was going to create!  Only 999,999 to go! Of course, Don's great new Alibaba administrative job pales in comparison to the half dozen or so high paying executive jobs that Jack had already created at his new (2014) Alibaba headquarters in the Caymans.  As our political leaders often say, "it's all about the jobs".  I couldn't agree more.

Anyway, I'm sure that Don is a great old guy and if asked, he could bring some clarity to what Alibaba is up to. Perhaps Mr. Clayton (after waiving attorney/client privilege) could lend some insight as well.  After all, if you are representing someone, I'd think you should have at least some idea as to what's going on with their business.


Additional Reading

Press Release
http://www.alibabagroup.com/en/news/press_pdf/p171102.pdf

6K
https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1577552/000110465917065677/a17-25090_1ex99d1.htm

Webcast
https://edge.media-server.com/m6/p/2r9yjiwq

Presentation
http://www.alibabagroup.com/en/ir/presentations/pre171102.pdf

Alibaba Singles Day
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/10/business/alibaba-singles-day.html?_r=0


The SEC correspondence from 2014
https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1577552/000119312514237452/filename1.htm

Lazada - pg 105 12/31/15 EUR 247 Million Revenue & EUR 312 Million loss.
https://www.rocket-internet.com/sites/default/files/investors/Rocket%20Internet_Annual%20Report%202016_English.pdf

Intime Financial Statements
https://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/intif/financials

Alibaba buys InTime
https://www.wsj.com/articles/alibaba-seeks-to-take-intime-private-with-founder-1484005494

Selina Wang Interview with Mike Evans
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2017-11-10/alibaba-s-evans-on-singles-day-strategy-in-u-s-video

Don Puglisi - Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=11324972&privcapId=60047155

Jack Ma to Create 1 Million US Jobs.
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/09/alibaba-to-discuss-expansion-plans-with-trump-company-aims-to-create-1-million-us-jobs-over-the-next-5-years.html


Alibaba Group Holding (BABA) Q2 2018 Results - Earnings Call Transcript
Investor Call Transcript

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