Saturday, December 27, 2014

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.

Joseph N. DiStefano
About this blog

PhillyDeals posts raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

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

Joseph N. DiStefano
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