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Alibaba’s Unhealthy Obsession With Rival

On Monday, an Alibaba spokesman distributed a critical report on JD, written by an anonymous author on the website Seeking Alpha. It was just the latest in a barrage of negative media coverage and research Alibaba has circulated on its rival over the past few months, an unusual public relations tactic for a company, more akin to political campaign skulduggery. Investors should worry that Alibaba’s top brass are rattled.

Alibaba and JD have a history of enmity. They are currently embroiled in a legal battle over JD’s allegations that Alibaba pressured merchants to withdraw from a JD sales event.

But unfortunately for Alibaba, this latest punch missed badly, failing to rattle JD investors on the day the company reported solid earnings. JD’s shares are up 8% since.

The anti-JD report argues that the company has started taking longer to...