Alibaba is the biggest e-commerce platform in China and holds its own when compared to the financial strength of U.S. counterparts like Amazon or Shopify.
In fact, about 80% of China’s online shopping is done through Alibaba. When the company went public with its U.S. IPO, it raised an impressive $25 billion, making it one of the most valuable companies in the world.
But the shares are off about 50% over the past year.
Why? The Chinese government played a large role. Last December, China launched an antitrust probe into the company and slapped it with a fine of $2.8 billion.
Despite having lost ground in 2021, Alibaba appears to be rebounding.
On Thursday, the shares popped 8% on thawing tensions between the U.S. and China. Specifically, President Joe Biden and President Xi Jinping agreed to hold a virtual summit before the end of the year.
Of course, if you're still on the fence about jumping in, some investing apps will give you a free share of Alibaba just for signing up.
Sea Limited (SE)
Sea Limited was founded in 2009 as a gaming company — which it still has a division for.
But the business really took off in 2015 with the launch of Shopee, an online marketplace used in Southeast Asian countries including Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore.
In Singapore alone, Shopee boasts roughly 13.6 million monthly visitors.
Sea Limited’s gaming platform — Garena — also contributes to its success, with their wildly popular Free Fire game hitting over 1 billion downloads earlier this year. That makes it the highest-grossing mobile game in Southeast Asia as of Q2 2021.
Sea Limited’s growth strategy relies on it expanding across the globe, which it seems to have no problem doing. In Brazil, for example, Shopee is currently the country’s most downloaded shopping app.
Over the past year, Sea shares have risen 93%, and the company continues to grow its revenue significantly each quarter.
JD.com is another one of China’s largest online retailers.
Just like Amazon here in the U.S., JD offers same-day delivery and next-day delivery all across China.
And much like Alibaba, JD has been subject to China’s recent regulations. JD doesn’t appear to be too worried, though
"Undoubtedly, we believe that the introduction of regulatory policies on the internet industry recently is a good thing for the long term and healthy development of industries,” said Xu Lei, CEO of JD Retail in August.
This jovial approach likely comes from the fact that JD.com added 32 million users last quarter, a record high for the company. More importantly, that translated into strong year-over-year revenue growth of 26%.
JD.com shares trade at a seemingly pricey $76 per share. But you can get a piece of the company using a stock trading app that allows you to buy fractions of shares with as much money as you are willing to spend.
Bezos' secret asset?
While these e-commerce stocks have tons of long-term potential due to their exposure to the rapidly growing Asian market, they can still take a violent tumble in the event of a U.S. market crash.
If you want to invest in something that has little correlation with the ups and downs of the stock market, you might want to consider another one of Bezos' favorite assets — fine art.
Investing in fine art by the likes of Banksy and Andy Warhol use to be an option only for the ultra-rich.
But with a new investing platform, you can invest in iconic artworks too, just like Bezos and Peggy Guggenheim.
On average, contemporary artworks appreciate in value by 14% per year, easily topping the average returns of 9.5% you’d see with the S&P 500.