Alibaba can probably afford to execute up to $38 billion in deals (acquisitions and investments) next year, according to data from an analyst at BNP Paribas SA, cited by Bloomberg late Thursday.
That’s huge — this year the ecommerce giant spent just $15 billion.
It puts Alibaba’s estimated spending power ahead of Chinese Internet rivals Tencent (with around $35 billion in its spending war chest going into 2016) and Baidu (with around $15 billion), according to the report.
As Bloomberg notes, a major part of the push this year by the big three has been around online-to-offline (O2O) services — stuff like ordering a meal or hailing a ride from your smartphone. Bloomberg’s data pegs acquisitions in the space by the trio known as B.A.T. at around $30 billion, so far this year.
But Tencent and Alibaba made up the bulk of those $30 billion in investments (split roughly evenly), with Baidu spending less than $1 billion.
O2O aside, Tencent’s growth is coming from “online games driven by mobile adoption coupled with advertising sales,” Bloomberg said.