Alibaba Launches NFT Marketplace… What’s Next?

Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce and technology company affiliated with the Ant Group and Alipay, is one of the largest patent holders in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space, with over 800 patent assets. In early 2020, the company filed a number of patent applications for digital asset management, with claims directed to ways of transferring digital assets. In August 2021, Alibaba announced that it was creating an NFT platform focusing on transacting tokenized licenses to trademarks and creative media. The target audience for the platform includes artists, musicians, and game developers.

While Alibaba’s new marketplace has a specific scope, the company’s large patent portfolio indicates that it will soon expand. Patents issued in the spring of 2021 to the Ant Group include claims directed to digital assets that are linked to tangible assets, and systems that require proof of authenticity and condition of the tangible assets. Based on the filings, we anticipate that Alibaba’s NFT platforms will soon expand to accommodate physical goods, which could complement its very popular e-commerce platforms. Keep up with Patent Forecast® to be able to predict new technologies before they come to market.