Asia continues to lead e-commerce growth worldwide, with multi-sided platforms like Alibaba.com, 360buy.com and Taobao.com leading the race. Despite their rising prominence, few studies articulate how these multi-sided platforms in Asia service and collaborate with it sides. It is important to learn how platforms encounter and adapt to changing suppliers-platform-customers interactions, to better understand the implications of e-commerce necessary to compete and lead in this digitally enabled landscape. Furthermore, scholars suggest research to discern between modernization of Asia and Westernization. To close these gaps, the authors conduct a case study of two of China’s leading multi-sided digital platforms—A.com and M.com. The researchers cross-examine the development of the two firms since their establishing, focusing on collaborative strategies with their sides and within their business units, through interdependencies and collective action conceptual perspectives. The contributions of this paper are two-fold. Firstly, we introduce a framework that identifies four types (I-IV) of multi-sided platform collaborations. This framework prescribes guidelines to identify and manage different types of collaborative action for strategic planning and operations between platform partners. Secondly, we consolidate four lessons learnt from our data—teach, consolidate, co-opete and ultimately lead—a set of actionable guidelines for platform leadership in the marketplace.
Tan, Felix Ter Chian; Tan, Barney; and Pan, Shan L., "Interdependencies and Collaborative Action for Platform Leadership: A Comparative Analysis of Two Leading Chinese Multi-Sided Digital Platforms" (2013). PACIS 2013 Proceedings. 32.