Alibaba has been on an online shopping spree.
The e-commerce giant has spent over $4 billion on just four acquisitions in the first half of 2014 compared with an average of one investment per year from 2008 to 2012, not one of which was publically disclosed as being above $50 million, according to CB Insights research. 2014 is on course to be Alibaba's most active year for M&A by a wide margin, with its acquisition of mobile web developer UCWeb for $1.9 billion in June its largest reported deal to date.
Alibaba has made some 23 investments since 2013. Thus far, its investment strategy has been eclectic, causing some analysts to question management's direction.
But Bernstein, which values Alibaba at up to $85 a share, says there are few companies comparable to Alibaba in size and scope.
"With so many options and opportunities, you would expect them to have investments in many areas and their fingers in many pies. So I don't see that as a major issue that is actually potentially a positive that they have so many opportunities and are pursuing them," Bernstein analyst Carlos Kirjner told CNBC.
Alibaba's recent acquisitions reflect the significance of mobile for future growth. Mobile accounted for 32 percent of total sales in the second quarter, up from less than 20 percent in the first.
Mobile commerce has been a point of concern for analysts who see smaller rivals such as JD.com possibly stealing a march on Alibaba when it comes to m-commerce market share.
Aside from purchasing UCWeb, Alibaba also recently invested $586 million for an 18 percent stake in Weibo, China's equivalent to Twitter. In March, it snapped up a 20 percent stake in U.S.-based messaging app TangoMe for $215 million.