The group is a heavyweight in China's tech sector, with activities in e-commerce, logistics, cloud computing, media, entertainment and artificial intelligence.
"The market is the best test, and each entity will be able to conduct independent fundraising and an IPO when it is ready to do so," the group's boss, Daniel Zhang, said in a letter to his employees.
Taobao, a very popular online sales platform in China, will continue to be 100% owned by Alibaba Group.
This restructuring will "create value for shareholders and boost the competitiveness of the market," Alibaba said in a statement.
This is the "most important reshuffle in terms of governance in 24 years" of existence of the group, which aims for a more "agile" organization, assured the company based in Hangzhou (east).
The six new entities will each have a CEO and a board of directors.
Daniel Zhang will remain the CEO of the whole but also of the unit dedicated to cloud computing.
Alibaba's listing in New York and Hong Kong will not be affected by the restructuring, the group said.
In pre-opening on the New York Stock Exchange, investors applauded the announcement Tuesday, sending the stock jumping more than 9%.
Like other Chinese internet giants, Alibaba has been penalized in recent years by the Chinese government's takeover of the tech sector.
In 2020, the authorities derailed a gigantic IPO in Hong Kong of its payment subsidiary Ant Group, while Alibaba was subsequently fined €2.3 billion for abuse of dominant position.
Beijing seems to have since let go and in early January the Chinese authorities finally gave the green light to Ant for a fundraising of more than a billion euros in Hong Kong.
In 2022, the total revenue of Chinese internet companies fell by just over 1 percent to 1.460 trillion yuan (196 billion euros), the first contraction in nearly a decade, according to data from China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
On February 23, Alibaba announced an increase of only 2% year-on-year in its quarterly revenue, to 34 billion euros, a sharp slowdown compared to the growth it had previously displayed.
The group cited in particular "weaker demand and disruptions in the supply chain and logistics related to the impact" of the end of the policy of strict measures against Covid-19 in China.
In the previous quarter, Alibaba had announced 2.7 billion euros in losses.
The announcement of its restructuring comes as Alibaba founder billionaire Jack Ma made a rare public appearance in China on Monday, after several months abroad.
Jack Ma, who left the management of his group in 2019 to devote himself entirely to philanthropic activities, has kept a low profile for two and a half years after public criticism of the Chinese regulator.
Since his media withdrawal in 2020, every information about the billionaire and his travels is highly commented in China on social networks.
© 2023 AFP