The Chinese e-commerce giant said in a statement the move is "designed to unlock shareholder value and foster market competitiveness."
Each of the business groups will operate under a holding company structure, with CEOs reporting to their own board of directors as they will be responsible for their individual company's performance.
The new business groups are as follows:
- Cainiao Smart Logistics: This segment will become the new home of Alibaba's logistics service, with Wan Lin continuing his role as CEO.
- Cloud Intelligence Group: This business will house the company's cloud and artificial intelligence departments and will be led by Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang.
- Digital Media and Entertainment Group: This unit will operate the company's streaming and movie business, led by Fan Luyuan.
- Global Digital Commerce Group: This segment will absorb Alibaba's international e-commerce businesses which include AliExpress and Lazada. Jiang Fan will serve as CEO.
- Local Services Group: This will cover Alibaba's food delivery service Ele.me as well as its digital mapping tools. Yu Yongfu will act as CEO.
- Taobao Tmall Commerce Group: This segment will house the company's online shopping platforms including Taobao and Tmall. This will remain wholly-owned by Alibaba.
Zhang said each new unit will be able to pursue independent fundraising and has the ability to IPO. "The market is the best litmus test," he added.
The complete overhaul of Alibaba's operations comes soon after founder Jack Ma was seen in China for the first time in months. Many investors see Ma's whereabout as a "bellwether of Beijing's relationship with the private sector," according to TechCrunch, with him being in the country being a good sign.
China has been working to restore confidence for businesses following its broad regulatory crackdown on the technology industry over the past few years. Notably, Beijing released a list of rules for companies looking to go public overseas, symbolically ending the nation's freeze on foreign IPOs following the delisting of ride-hailing company Didi in the United States.