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Open Sesame

App-based bike-sharing services are starting to explode in Latin America, mirroring a process that has already gone full circle in China, where large numbers of excess shareable bikes are now gathering rust.

Since China has a booming startup culture, there is great potential for other business ideas to follow the same cycle and make the leap to new territories like the Americas.

At the same time, e-commerce giant Alibaba has moved into cloud services and cutting-edge innovation, just as Amazon and Google have done.

Alibaba sites like AliExpress have Spanish and Portuguese versions connecting Latin American consumers to vendors and manufacturers in China, but Alibaba Group has yet to invest directly in this region.

In this report BNamericas considers whether Chinese firms have the potential to contribute to the digital development of Latin America.

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