Express companies take off with rookies, but Alibaba’s “gift” has long been priced

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Sina Technology He Chang
In addition to the successive half yearly reports, there have been several big news in the logistics industry in the past month.
First, Jingdong and Shentong stopped cooperation and kicked the latter out of “brothers” group chat; then, Wang Wei, the president of Shunfeng, issued a total of 500 million yuan red envelopes to all employees; then the “false news” turned into a real announcement. Alibaba spent 6.6 billion yuan to increase its 12% stake in Yuantong, and real gold and silver smashed the share price all the way.
It is worth noting that the story of Jingdong and Shentong has a follow-up. A seller of idle fish told Sina technology that it has been unable to deliver goods through Jingdong express. “Although I couldn’t see the logistics situation before, it was no problem to upload the order number. Yesterday I tried it, and it showed that” the waybill number does not conform to the rules “. If you have to use Jingdong express, you can only choose” no delivery “and abandon the normal delivery process.”
Behind the hustle and bustle, the logistics industry has formed the trend of Alibaba, Jingdong and Shunfeng. However, different from Jingdong and Shunfeng’s insistence on large-scale investment, Ma Yun once said that “Alibaba does not do logistics”. However, logistics is one of the foundations of e-commerce transactions. The evolution of business flow affects the changes of logistics. Alibaba needs a breakthrough fulcrum.
Finally, the rookie took off. All the guests are allies. After drinking, the next battle is to join the system to go all directions of the Tongda system – Alibaba does the work of dispatching troops.
In fact, the seven years of rookie’s establishment are also the seven years of Alibaba logistics make-up course. In addition to your honeymoon trip, there was also a period of fierce cold war. In the process of opening up, friction, competition and cooperation, Alibaba and its Tongda department will face the measurement of gain and loss. What can be determined is that logistics is a link that Alibaba must continuously and deeply participate in, and Tongda system is destined to meet both sides of a coin – gifts from Alibaba and the price on the gift label.
Alibaba’s logistics 18 turns
In the book “the true story of Alibaba”, Ma Yun once said that there was a directional problem in Jingdong: the self built logistics mode was too heavy and the personnel cost was too high, which would be unbearable in the future.
We can not build our own logistics, but we can’t stand idly by. In 2013, Alibaba took the lead in the establishment of “rookie Network Technology Co., Ltd.”, positioning itself as a social big data logistics collaborative platform. Its shareholders from Yintai, Fuchun group and Fosun Group to Shunfeng, Shentong, Yuantong, Zhongtong and Yunda, included half of China’s logistics industry. Among them, Alibaba’s tmall invested 2.15 billion yuan, accounting for 43% of the shares; SF, Shentong, Yuantong, Zhongtong and Yunda invested 50 million yuan, accounting for 1% of the shares.
A logistics network called “China’s intelligent logistics backbone network” has been launched. Ma Yun’s expectation is that “any commodity can be delivered within 24 hours through this network”. Alibaba has laid the dominant position in the electricity supplier industry through Taobao, Tmall and Alipay. Next, the urgent need to solve the logistics problems, including double 11 warehouse, is to really enroll businesses and users.
But the rookie is not the first in Alibaba’s logistics chess game. As early as in a strategic seminar in 2007, logistics was regarded as the bottleneck of e-commerce and became the focus of participants. In 2008, Alibaba, together with Foxconn, invested $15 million in Baishi, followed by five capital increases. So far, Alibaba’s stake in Baishi is 33%, the largest shareholder with 46.2% voting rights.
However, the rookie at the starting point has only one card in his hand – technical ability, and shareholders obviously have their own plans. Chen Dejun, chairman of Shentong, once said that the two sides had totally different ideas and participated in it only because of “giving face”. This also foreshadows the future layout of logistics hub, warehousing and supply chain, intra city distribution, intelligent scheduling and other businesses for rookies in the future. After all, only with hard wings can we fly further.
Yang Daqing, an expert in logistics industry, analyzed in an interview with sina science and technology that Alibaba’s logistics service is becoming more and more important. Especially in the context of new infrastructure construction, physical and chemical resources are the key carrier of digital logistics, and Alibaba needs to have a certain degree of control over the core enterprises of the ecosystem. “What changes is Alibaba’s distribution of benefits to the logistics ecosystem, and what remains unchanged is its strategic positioning and ultimate goal.”
This is also reflected in Alibaba’s investment in logistics enterprises. In addition to Baishi, there are Alibaba behind Shentong, Yuantong, Zhongtong, Yunda, etc. with the settlement of Alibaba’s increase in Yuantong, its shareholding proportion in Tongda system is in descending order of Baishi 33%, Yuantong 22.5%, Shentong 14.6%, Zhongtong 8.7% and Yunda 2%. In addition, through a series of actions, such as investment in card bank Tianxia, diesifang, Beiling technology, the wholly-owned acquisition points of Aida and Xinyi technology, and the merger and acquisition of Shanghai Vientiane, Nanjing Shengbang, Chengdu Dongjun, Zhejiang sesame open door and Shaanxi huangmajia, the rookies have gradually enriched their layout in the fields of trunk transportation, cross-border logistics, landing distribution and warehousing operation.
In Yang Daqing’s opinion, Alibaba’s investment has two meanings: one is financial investment, the other is cooperation link. For example, as a financial investment, Tantong is the only airline in the Ali express company with a larger value-added space. After squeezing out part of the valuation bubble, it is buying at that time. As a tie of cooperation, Alibaba investment has not gained the controlling power, and capital support is more conducive to deepening trust between the two sides.
Who becomes who after three parts of the world
Under the label of “technology company”, rookie not only invested heavily in the partners, but also established the direct marketing and landing distribution brand “danniao” – now renamed as “rookie direct distribution”, which was integrated by the above-mentioned landing distribution enterprises.
Interestingly, while Alibaba’s logistics strategy has changed from light to heavy, Jingdong, which was “hardworking” in the past, launched the “public post express” trial franchise system, focusing on the sinking market and economic business development. Its service products mainly focus on 3kg small pieces and e-commerce packages, and the market positioning is domestic e-commerce platform, micro business micro store, new e-commerce, professional market and retail investors.
In addition, SF has launched Shunxin Jetta in 2018 and launched its franchise express system. Recently, it has been revealed that SF will set up a new e-commerce express network and open its outlets to join in. The first batch of Shunxin Jieda franchisees will be opened.

Zhao Xiaomin, an expert in logistics industry, stressed to Sina technology that this is actually a process of ebb and flow. The market is constantly changing, and enterprises will make different choices at different stages in order to seek the best mode to cope with the current situation. “Alibaba’s strategy in the general direction of logistics has not changed, and some parts have indeed been adjusted. The problem facing JD logistics is that it needs to complete the IPO as soon as possible, and then discuss the scale and market share plan for the next step.”
The opponents who stood at both ends of a line seemed to be moving towards each other, but they all knew that they were not friends.
In 2016, Liu qiangdong commented on rookies in CCTV’s dialogue column, saying that it was essentially building data systems on several express companies. “To put it mildly, it is to improve their efficiency; to put it worse, most of the profits of the last few express companies will be absorbed by the rookies.”
The rookie’s retort is not polite. In addition to classifying Jingdong as an enterprise whose vision is only to squeeze profits from its partners to feed itself, he also gave Liu qiangdong a sentence: “don’t worry, it’s no use being anxious.”
The spat is just the tip of the iceberg. In June 2017, Alibaba and Shunfeng fought each other, accusing each other of cutting off the data interface. Then, the two camps began to stand in line, and Jingdong, Tencent, meituan, Suning, etc. ended in succession. As the war escalated, the state post office had to mediate. In August of the same year, Jingdong terminated cooperation with Tiantian express and Baishi express, and attributed the suspension to “poor comprehensive service quality and violation of platform rules”.
In July this year, Jingdong and Shentong stopped cooperation, causing widespread concern. According to Jingdong, Alibaba Group has become the actual major shareholder of Shentong express through strategic investment, but Jingdong’s demand for cooperation in Alibaba’s e-commerce platform has not been responded to, which is regarded as the crux of the failure to renew the contract on the premise that the cooperation has expired. But the deeper reason is actually data. Big data is not only the core driving force of integrated supply chain services under the new retail banner, but also represents the control and discourse power of the industry.
A Jingdong Logistics related person disclosed to Sina technology that the purpose of notifying merchants is not to prohibit the selection of Shentong. Although the order information will not be displayed in the system, the business can still send the message. Now, it’s not in line with the rules of “Jingdong express” and “ice fish” in the “leisure” column.
Coin toss game of access system
For Tongda system, there is no dinner for no reason. Getting on the giant ship of Alibaba means a large number of e-commerce packages. However, the other side of the increment is the vicious circle of homogenization of business and narrowing of profit space due to its high dependence on e-commerce products.
Four years ago, Liu qiangdong pointed out that the Tongda department was very aware of the possible results of cooperation with rookies, but it had no ability to leave. “Because the lifeblood is caught in the other party’s hands, if you don’t do this and immediately kick you out, you may not have 50% of your package.”
However, even if we hold on to Alibaba, we can not fundamentally solve the development dilemma of Tongda system. Financial reports show that, in addition to Yuantong and Zhongtong achieving double growth in revenue and net profit, the performance of other enterprises is unsatisfactory. Shentong’s revenue in the first half of the year was 9.25 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 6.21%, and the net profit was 70.6 million yuan, with a year-on-year decrease of 91.51%. In the first half of the year, Yunda’s revenue was 14.3 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 7.95%; its net profit was 680 million yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 47.47%; Baishi’s revenue in the second quarter was 8.418 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 4.2%, and a net loss of 30.9 million yuan.
However, the single ticket income of express delivery is still declining, and the drop rate of Tongda system is more than 20% year on year, and the single ticket income has approached 2 yuan. Among them, Yunda’s single ticket income was 2.01 yuan, with a year-on-year decrease of 36.19%, with the largest drop.
In order to compete for market share, Tongda system had to fight for the price war, which also caused the embarrassment of business running and hard to recover profits. A Fuzhou Yuantong courier told sina science and technology that since August last year, the local distribution subsidy has been reduced to 1 yuan / piece, which was originally the level of courier payment. “The company squeezed the outlets, and the outlets squeezed us again. After the distribution fee dropped to 0.8 yuan / piece, many people quit their jobs.” A Beijing Shentong express in an interview with Sina Technology also lamented that since this year, the couriers in his area have been changing, and he does not know how long he will persist after taking over.
In Zhao Xiaomin’s view, this is equivalent to the risk of price war has been transferred to the network. He predicted that the price war will continue for 8-9 months, and in the next year, the turbulence of outlets may become a normal.
Making money is no longer as easy as it used to be, and rookies provide information services for the Tongda system, but they also bring a lot of troubles and challenges. Yang Daqing believes that this is the two sides of the same coin, which will inevitably bring some enterprises’ strategic passivity in the construction of ecological bundling. In order to change the low-end price competition situation, these express enterprises which are allied with rookies must actively reduce the price consumption war and repeated investment, or they will face the second or even the third integration of express enterprises in the ecosystem.
He also mentioned that Chinese express companies should not only focus on domestic competitors, but also focus on global competition. From this perspective, rookies can promote the cluster upgrading of China’s franchise express through technology empowerment. No matter rookie or Alibaba, as a platform, belongs to external forces, and needs the strong guidance and integration of head enterprises. “Alibaba must pay attention to logistics, but its strategic positioning should not be changed. Otherwise, it will not only violate the altruistic values of an Ecosphere enterprise, but also exhaust the accumulated vitality. On the basis of maintaining its core competitiveness, Alibaba needs deeper and broader ecological openness, not contraction. ” He said.
As for the access department, we should consider whether to be satisfied with the current achievements or look to the longer-term future. The essence of business is to pursue interests. There are no permanent friends or enemies, but there is no gift coming out of thin air. Everything has a price.