Monday, May 25, 2015

China's Alibaba buys into Rubin's ShopRunner to fight Amazon: reports

Replacing eBay as Michael Rubin's main partner vs Amazon.com

China's Alibaba buys into Rubin's ShopRunner to fight Amazon: reports

A screen grab of ShopRunner.com
A screen grab of ShopRunner.com

Looks like Michael Rubin, the Conshohocken-based online-shopping mogul, has become China's favorite American in a global battle to compete with Amazon.com, as China's Alibaba Group replaces eBay as Rubin's largest outside financial backer.

"Alibaba Group, China's largest e-commerce company, has led a $206 million investment in Amazon rival ShopRunner," and bought out former part-owner eBay, reports CNET here, citing the Wall St Journal; the story was previously posted by PCWorld, all citing unnamed sources.

ShopRunner is a unit of Michael Rubin's Conshohocken-based Kynetic, the company he formed after selling his former GSI Commerce to eBay for $2.4 billion three years ago.  Alibaba joined the Singapore sovereign investmetn fund Temashek in pumping $170 million into another eBay unit, Fanatics, the Jacksonville-based major-league and college sports gear online-sales company. More on Fanatics and Alibaba here.

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PhillyDeals posts drafts, transcripts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area business, which he's been writing since 1989.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn and taught writing at St. Joseph's. He has written thousands of columns and articles for the Inquirer, Bloomberg and other media, wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com, distefano251@gmail.com, 215.854.5194 or 302.652.2004.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano