The Chicago Journal

Alibaba’s Strategic Pause Amidst the US-China Chip War

In a surprising twist of events, Alibaba, the tech giant founded by billionaire Jack Ma, has decided to halt its plans to spin off its cloud computing arm. This strategic decision is rooted in the recent tightening of US controls on chip exports to China, introducing uncertainties that cast shadows on the future of Alibaba’s Cloud Intelligence Group.

US Controls Cast Shadows on Alibaba’s Cloud Prospects:

Alibaba’s official statement released on Thursday highlights the potential material and adverse effects of the new US restrictions on the Cloud Intelligence Group. These restrictions not only jeopardize the division’s ability to operate profitably but also raise doubts about the value of a separate listing for shareholders. The market’s response was swift, resulting in a nearly 10% drop in Alibaba’s US-listed shares.

Focus on Sustainable Growth Model Amid Fluid Circumstances:

In response to the challenges posed by the escalating chip war, Alibaba expresses a steadfast commitment to developing a sustainable growth model for the Cloud Intelligence Group under the fluid circumstances. The company acknowledges that these restrictions may have broader implications, limiting their ability to upgrade technological capabilities across their various businesses.

The Escalating Chip War Between the US and China:

Alibaba’s strategic rethink is a consequence of the ongoing chip war between the United States and China. This year-long feud revolves around China’s access to advanced semiconductors, crucial materials, and equipment necessary for various products, from smartphones to electric vehicles. The evolving dynamics of this geopolitical tension have forced Alibaba to reconsider its earlier commitment to spinning off its cloud unit.

Impact of US-China Relations on Export Controls:

Last month, the US government intensified export controls, effectively reducing the range of semiconductors that American companies can sell to China. These measures, described by Chinese President Xi Jinping as “technological containment,” were addressed during talks with US President Joe Biden. The two leaders aimed to put their often rocky relationship on steadier ground, and this development directly influences Alibaba’s strategic decision-making.

Friendlier Relations Amidst Economic Challenges:

While facing economic challenges such as a property crisis and weak consumer spending, China and the US displayed friendlier relations during recent talks. President Xi emphasized the need to build bridges for people-to-people exchanges, fostering collaboration instead of engaging in a zero-sum game. This context adds a layer of complexity to Alibaba’s strategic considerations, as geopolitical dynamics intertwine with economic uncertainties.

Alibaba’s Ongoing Overhaul and IPO Plans:

Beyond the cloud spin-off, Alibaba is currently undergoing a historic overhaul. The initial plan aimed to create six separate units, each overseen by its own CEO and board. Besides pausing the spin-off of its cloud unit, Alibaba is also evaluating market conditions for listing its supermarket chain, Freshippo. However, plans for an IPO of its logistics arm, Cainiao, in Hong Kong remain on track, with no specified date provided.

Financial Snapshot:

Alibaba’s financial results for the June-to-September quarter showcase resilience, with revenues climbing 9% year-on-year to 224.8 billion renminbi ($31 billion). The net profit reached 26.7 billion renminbi ($3.7 billion), a significant turnaround from a previous net loss, driven by the increased value of the group’s equity investments.


Alibaba’s decision to reevaluate its cloud spin-off amidst the complex landscape of the US-China chip war reflects the uncertainties and challenges faced by global tech giants. Navigating these complexities while pursuing a sustainable growth model remains a priority for the company, requiring a delicate balance between global geopolitics, economic considerations, and strategic foresight.

MacBook to perform better with two new M2 chips

MacBook: It was big news when Apple revealed on Tuesday that customers could now select between the M2 Pro and M2 Max CPUs for the new Macs.

The two CPUs are Apple’s most powerful processors used in Macs and MacBooks.

The M2 chips

Apple’s newest systems on chips (SoCs), the M2 Pro and M2 Max boost performance.

The Pro enhances the M2 architecture with more than 32GB of fast, unified memory, a 12-core CPU, and a 19-core GPU.

While the Max improves those characteristics, the M2 Pro includes a 38-core GPU that boosts the unified memory bandwidth and 96GB of unified memory.

The CPUs feature improved proprietary technologies, including Apple’s powerful and renowned media engine and a faster 16-core Neural Engine.

The M2 Max significantly improves the performance and usefulness of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, while the M2 Pro premieres on the Mac mini.

“Only Apple is building SoCs like M2 Pro and M2 Max,” said Johny Srouji, the senior vice president of Apple’s Hardware Technologies.

“They deliver incredible pro performance along with industry-leading power efficiency.”

“With an even more powerful CPU and GPU, support for a larger unified memory system, and an advanced media engine, M2 Pro and M2 Max represent astonishing advancements in Apple silicon.”

The Mac mini

The new Mac mini is more capable and influential at a reasonable rate, and it delivers features including faster speed, more unified memory, and cutting-edge networking.

While the M2 Pro version can accommodate up to three displays, the M2 model only supports two.

The Mac mini comes with the innovative and user-friendly Mac OS Ventura, the Studio Display, and Magic Access.

Greg Joswiak, the Senior Vice President of Global Marketing at Apple, said:

“With incredible capabilities and a wide array of connectivity in its compact design, Mac mini is used in so many places, in so many different ways.”

“Bringing even more performance and a lower starting price, Mac mini with M2 is a tremendous value.”

“And for users who need powerful pro performance, Mac mini with M2 Pro is unlike any other desktop in its class.”

Furthermore, Apple no longer produces or sells Mac minis equipped with Intel Processors.

The last gadget with an Intel Processor installed is the Mac Pro.

Read also: NetChoice claims California law violates First Amendment, sues state


The M2 Pro and M2 Max processors and the Mac mini were introduced following Luca Maestri’s word of caution in October.

The revenue for the December quarter was expected to decrease annually, according to Apple’s chief financial officer.

While this is happening, it’s possible that Apple’s failure to deliver the MacBooks in time for the holiday shopping season is causing the decline.

In October, Apple announced the results of its fiscal fourth quarter, and its earnings and sales per share outperformed expectations on Wall Street.

The tech behemoth missed its sales targets for many product categories, including the iPhone business and services.

In a precarious economic climate, the new Macs will be released when many consumers are still dealing with inflation.

In light of the ongoing recessionary worries, most consumers have likewise learned to be more modest with their spending.

Earnings report

Apple’s earnings report will be made public at the end of this month.

Sales for the tech company’s December quarter were $10.85 billion, up 25% from the same time in 2022

Despite the effects of the epidemic and problems with the supply chain, the company at the time had its biggest quarterly revenues ever.


Pre-orders for Apple’s innovative products, which will go on sale on January 24, will be processed starting on Tuesday.

The price of the Mac mini with an M2 processor is $599, which is $100 less than the previous models.

However, the M2 Pro model would cost you roughly $1,299.

The cost of the new 14-inch MacBook Pro is $1,999 as well.

Last but not least, the 16-inch MacBook Pro model costs about $2,499.


Apple announces new Mac mini, MacBook Pro with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips

Apple introduces new Mac mini with M2 and M2 Pro – more powerful, capable, and versatile than ever

Apple unveils M2 Pro and M2 Max: new-generation chips for next-level workflows