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Abstract

The rapid growth of online consumers and e-business websites in China has attracted a large number of organizations to participate in the e-business industry; many of them have gone through several stages of evolution and aggregations. The purpose of this study is to apply the business ecosystem theory as the theoretical lens to explore the phenomenon of e-business growth in China. The Alibaba Group was chosen as a case to demonstrate the process by which a typical e-business ecosystem got shaped, developed, and matured. Four stages in the evolution path of Alibaba’s ecosystem and their respective characteristics are identified. The findings are useful for understanding the development of e-business in china. Implications for researchers and practitioners are discussed.

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