Leading business news magazine and website Fast Company has chosen China-based e-commerce giant Alibaba Group as one of the world’s 50 most innovative companies, ranking Alibaba No. 3 behind online retailer Warby Parker and Apple, and ahead of better-known Western brands including Google and Tesla Motors.
The magazine’s editors noted that, while Alibaba is viewed somewhat simplistically in the West as an “eBay-Amazon-Paypal hydra,” in China the company is far more ambitious, “targeting and remaking some of the country’s most moneyed industries, from banking to entertainment.”
Fast Company cited efforts by Alibaba and related companies to offer underbanked Chinese consumers investment products with higher returns than those from state-run banks, as well as Yu Le Bao, an innovative crowdfunding model for movie funding that “threatens to upend traditional film financing in China.”
Alibaba, a newcomer to the annual ranking, made the top three “for helping consumers save, spend, and be entertained.”
Fast Company editors said they compiled the annual Innovative Companies list after months of gathering and analyzing data on enterprises around the globe. The list is populated with companies that have progressive, nimble business models, an ethos of sustainability, and a culture of creativity, Fast Company said.
To read the magazine’s take on Alibaba, click here.