The Impact of Digital Platforms on New Zealand Firms’ Entry Strategies: The Case of Alibaba
The advent of digital platforms has changed the way in which Asia-Pacific firms conduct international transactions, condensing time and geographic distance (Manyika, Lund, & Bughin, 2016). However, the impact of digital platforms on firms’ internationalisation strategy, and in particular entry strategy, is under-researched in current International Business literature. This study aims to explore how digital platforms in China, and specifically the digital platforms of Alibaba Group, impact New Zealand small and medium-sized (SMEs) companies’ entry strategies in the Chinese market. Empirical data were collected from four New Zealand companies through semi-structured in-depth interviews. The results of this study suggest that digital platforms impact these firms’ entry strategies through easing entry barriers to some extent, particularly in helping overcome resource constraints and obtain access to networks. However, the participating firms still required local staff as a key part of successful market entry. Therefore, it is concluded that while digital platforms can help alleviate some entry barriers traditionally faced by SMEs, limitations in human resources still impose challenges on firms in seeking internationalisation in China.