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      Legitimacy building and e-commerce platform development in China: The experience of Alibaba

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          Abstract

          Although existing studies have connected the emergence and development of e-commerce with infrastructure, culture, and regulations, we approach technological and platform acceptance from the perspective of legitimacy building. In our study, legitimacy is categorized into market, relational, and social legitimacy, and the link between each type of legitimacy and acceptance is explored. We select the case of Alibaba and argue that Alibaba was especially competent in building legitimacy. Alibaba's continuous efforts to build legitimacy facilitated platform evolution despite its exposed weakness in intellectual property rights. These efforts rendered Alibaba as a de facto standard e-business model. This research suggests that any firm that wants market acceptance for its platform or e-commerce technology should focus more on building legitimacy among stakeholders than on anything else.

          Highlights

          • Legitimacy building is considered critical for e-commerce development.

          • We study the legitimacy building through the case of Alibaba's e-commerce platform.

          • Market legitimacy is crucial to break the bottleneck in the business model.

          • Relational legitimacy is obtained when a firm is recognized to be trustworthy.

          • Social legitimacy requires firms or technologies to serve the benefits of society.

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          Most cited references36

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          Managing Legitimacy: Strategic and Institutional Approaches

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            Institutional Linkages and Organizational Mortality

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              Globalization and the Environment: Determinants of Firm Self-Regulation in China

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Technol Forecast Soc Change
                Technol Forecast Soc Change
                Technological Forecasting and Social Change
                Elsevier Inc.
                0040-1625
                0040-1625
                28 June 2018
                February 2019
                28 June 2018
                : 139
                : 115-124
                Affiliations
                [a ]School of Business Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
                [b ]Institutes of Science and Development, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, People's Republic of China
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author. zhangyue@ 123456casipm.ac.cn
                Article
                S0040-1625(18)30963-6
                10.1016/j.techfore.2018.06.038
                7127782
                25fd648a-3ee7-43f3-9d80-4a09b1406ab5
                © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

                Since January 2020 Elsevier has created a COVID-19 resource centre with free information in English and Mandarin on the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The COVID-19 resource centre is hosted on Elsevier Connect, the company's public news and information website. Elsevier hereby grants permission to make all its COVID-19-related research that is available on the COVID-19 resource centre - including this research content - immediately available in PubMed Central and other publicly funded repositories, such as the WHO COVID database with rights for unrestricted research re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for free by Elsevier for as long as the COVID-19 resource centre remains active.

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                Article

                e-commerce platform,legitimacy building,business model standard,china,alibaba

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