China’s manufacturing sector is struggling to keep up with the pace of change in the world’s second-largest economy, with a large part of the growth coming from services.
But some are saying that China’s growing economic clout could help the sector get ahead of some of the problems that have come with the rapid rise of the world-leading global technology company Alibaba.
In the coming years, Alibaba could help China keep up its pace of growth and build on the opportunities it has seen in the region, said Zhu Yonghua, a senior fellow at the Centre for Global Business Governance at Beijing’s Renmin University.
In a recent speech, Zhu, who is also an associate professor at the Beijing Normal University, predicted that Alibaba could become the biggest player in the global manufacturing sector by 2020, helping China become the leading supplier of services, while also building on its strengths in other areas.
“The biggest impact will come from Alibaba,” Zhu said, referring to the company.
“We hope that it will become a major player in China’s economy, and that by 2020 it will be the biggest supplier of products in the country.”
China has been a leading market for Alibaba since its launch in the second half of this year.
Alibaba has already sold products to nearly 30 million consumers in China, and has recently opened offices in Beijing and Shanghai.
The company has been widely credited with making Alibaba one of the most powerful companies in the technology industry, which now employs nearly 70,000 people in the United States and more than 3 million people in China.
Alibaba is also looking to expand beyond China, with its ambitions to expand into the Indian market and beyond, as well as in other emerging markets.
In its most recent annual report, Alibaba said that its revenue grew 6.7 percent in the first half of 2018, compared to a 6.2 percent increase in the same period last year.
But that increase was not enough to offset a 9.5 percent drop in its profit.
Altspace has also struggled to keep pace with rising demand in Asia, where Alibaba has also seen rapid growth in recent years.
Its market share in China has shrunk to just under a quarter of the market share it held in 2014.
In India, Alibaba has been the dominant player for the past few years, but has lost ground to rival Zomato, which has gained significant market share.
Zhu said that the rise of Alibaba has created a lot of pressure for other players to follow suit.
“It is very clear that the Chinese industry is undergoing a transformation,” Zhu told Al Jazeera.
“If Alibaba does not succeed in the Chinese market, the Chinese economy will be more and more fragmented and less competitive.”
Alibaba and Zomaz have already been facing legal disputes over the sale of its popular services.
Zomaz, the popular online dating service, has faced allegations of fraud and alleged money laundering and was banned from the market in China last year after an investigation by the central government.
The Beijing-based company also faced a series of lawsuits last year over its alleged role in illegal activities.
Alixas chief executive officer Wang Xiaogang has been embroiled in controversy for months over a series topless ads posted on its website, which were condemned as inappropriate.
A series of ads that appeared to be from the company’s luxury car company, Yixing Automobile, were also found to have been paid for by Yixings legal team, the company said in a statement last month.
The controversy has not stopped Alibaba from trying to gain ground.
In January, the global investment bank Goldman Sachs put Alibaba on its short list of investment targets for 2018, saying it would give the company an investment grade rating if it did not make significant investments in China or abroad.
Zhao Jinsong, an analyst at Jinsheng Securities, said Alibaba had a good chance of achieving that.
“Alibaba can be an attractive investment option for investors, given its strong performance in the past year,” she said.