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What the war between Alibaba and Tencent says about strategy

In a market of rapid technology changes and shifting consumer expectations, the traditional analyse-plan-execute approach is not good enough.

The listing of Ant Group, an Alibaba spin-off that has evolved into the world's largest fintech company, is shaping up to be the mother of all stock market debuts, eclipsing even Alibaba's. It will take place in October in Hong Kong and Shanghai, not Wall Street.

Alibaba's Ant Group and Tencent's WeChat Pay effectively have a duopoly in China's digital and mobile payments market and the fintech industry. But their dominance is not assured as more state-owned banks and financial institutions are entering the fintech domain.

WHEN Alibaba Group went public on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Sept 18, 2014, chief executive officer (CEO) Jack Ma said of the record-setting US$25 billion initial public offering: "What we raised today is not money, it's trust."

Six years on, investors remain loyal to the e-...

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