Why the Alibaba Stock Price Today Is Climbing - And Where It's Headed

The Alibaba stock price today is climbing 0.6%, after new CEO Daniel Zhang announced a new plan to globalize the Chinese e-commerce company.

Zhang was named Alibaba's CEO on May 7 when the company reported quarterly earnings. In one of his first strategy meetings with employees yesterday Zhang said Alibaba "must absolutely globalize and it must be a successful effort."

Alibaba stock price today"We will organize a global team and adopt global thinking to manage the business, and achieve the goal of 'global buy and global sell,'" Zhang said, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Part of the new global strategy appears to be a partnership with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT). Yesterday, Wal-Mart announced shoppers in China will now be able to make store purchases using Alibaba's mobile payment service Alipay Wallet.

The new partnership brings together two of the world's top retailers. WMT has a market cap of $252.7 billion, while BABA is valued near $220 billion. WMT stock was hovering near $78.50, while the Alibaba stock price today hit an intra-day high of $88.23.

Zhang also said that Alibaba will ramp up the promotion of its AliExpress platform. AliExpress is a sales platform that helps users sell Chinese goods internationally. Another key will be expanding Tmall, a site that helps connect international sellers with Chinese consumers.

Finally, Zhang is dedicated to hiring more international employees.

"We will have employees from all over the world that look different from each other," he said. "We have to take the time to understand them to understand their habits, cultural differences, and way of thinking. This is how we become truly an international company."

Oddly, that statement came just weeks after Chairman Jack Ma announced a hiring freeze for the rest of 2015. But when the freeze is lifted, it's clear Alibaba will expand its borders.

Alibaba's globalization announcement didn't come as a surprise to us at Money Morning. We've been following the company's expansion closely, well before the IPO.

In fact, it's one of the reasons Money Morning's Executive Editor Bill Patalon calls BABA stock one of the best long-term stocks to buy today. Here are the others...

Alibaba Stock Price Today Is Up and Heading Higher

"Alibaba has market power, a visionary leader, and it's making smart decisions," Patalon explained. "They're trying to build something special - a paradigm-shifting, rule-breaking company. They're trying to create new ways of doing things."

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Alibaba started its move into international markets well before its September IPO. In the year leading up to the IPO, the Chinese company spent nearly $1 billion acquiring positions in U.S. tech firms.

With this expansion strategy, and a continued move into the mobile market, Patalon sees a scenario where Alibaba is a $1 trillion company as soon as 2020.

At that market cap, BABA stock will be roughly $400 per share. That's a gain of 353% in the next five years.

"What you have to look at is the long-term potential, which is still huge," Patalon said. "They still haven't even maxed out their own market. They're bringing in entertainment companies and new business-to-business ventures. They're going to keep expanding their offerings."

"This isn't just a stock to buy for 2015," he continued. "This is a great investment for years to come. If you invest money that you can afford to lose and hold onto the stock for several years, you'll end up being very surprised by how much you've made."

The Bottom Line: The Alibaba stock price today is climbing after the company announced a new international expansion plan. Expanding globally will be a huge catalyst for BABA stock, and will help the company reach a $1 trillion market cap. Alibaba stock is a great buy-and-hold investment.

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