Alibaba Reorganizes Units and Management in the Face of Mounting Pressure

Alibaba Group announced reorganization of its Chinese and international e-commerce business and appointed a new CFO. The company has been dealing with China’s regulatory crackdown as well as increasing competition and a slowing economy. The Chinese tech giant will form two new units: international digital commerce and China digital commerce in order to become more agile and accelerate growth.

AliExpress, which sells to foreign retail buyers, will be included in the international unit. Its Southeast Asian e-commerce unit Lazada and, which sells to overseas businesses, will also be part of the international unit.

The company also announced a change in top tier management, with deputy CFO Toby Xu replacing Maggie Wu as CFO starting April.

Lat month, Alibaba cut its annual growth forecast to its lowest since its 2014 stock market debut. Weaker economic growth and fierce competition from a number of rivals caused the growth rate to drop.

China’s regulatory crackdown on tech has also caused Alibaba to suffer lower revenue growth. After the government fined the company for $2.8 billion in April for abusing its market dominance, Alibaba was forced to abandon its policy that requires merchants to exclusively open shops in its platform.

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KoBold Metals to Spend $150 Million on Zambia Copper Mine

California-based mining startup KoBold Metals, backed by a coalition of billionaires including Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, said it will invest $150 million to develop Zambia’s Mingomba copper-cobalt mine. The company said Mingomba is the world’s highest-grade undeveloped large copper deposit. The startup, which includes Gates’ Breakthrough Energy and world’s top miner BHP as shareholders, will use its artificial intelligence tool to process drilling fata and optimize exploration for copper and cobalt at the Zambia site. 

Scholz Set to Visit East Africa with Green Hydrogen in Mind

German Chancellor Scholz is set to visit Ethiopia and Kenya this week, aiming to discuss the conflict in Sudan, his support for the peace process in Ethiopia and explore cooperation on green hydrogen with Kenya. Scholz’s three-day stay in the two East African countries, which will also include a business delegation, is his second official visit to Africa as Germany’s chancellor as the West is scrambling to exert influence in the continent against China. 

Gazprom Cancels Dutch, German, Danish Gas Contracts

Gazprom widened its gas supply cuts to Europe, in line with Putin’s orders to receive gas payments from “unfriendly countries” in roubles, which has been refused by the EU member states. After the Russia’s state owned gas company announced on Tuesday that it would cut off gas to the Netherlands’ GasTerra, it said it would also cancel gas contracts from June 1 with Denmark’s Orsted and Shell’s gas supplies to Germany. 

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