Alibaba Group is a privately owned Hangzhou-based family of Internet-based E-Commerce businesses that cover business-to-business online marketplaces, retail and payment platforms, shopping search engine and data-centric cloud computing services. In 2012, two of Alibaba’s portals together handled 1.1 trillion yuan ($170 billion) in sales, more than competitors eBay and Amazon combined. The company primarily operates in the People’s Republic of China. The company is estimated to have a valuation between $55 billion to more than $120 billion.


The company began in 1999 with the web domain Alibaba.com a business-to-business portal to connect Chinese manufacturers with overseas buyers. Its consumer-to-consumer portal Taobao, similar to American eBay, features nearly a billion products and is one of the 20 most-visited websites globally. Alibaba Group’s sites account for over 60% of the parcels delivered in China.

Alipay, an online payment, escrow service, accounts for roughly half of all online payment transactions within China. The vast majority of these payments occur using Alibaba services.


Type Private
Industry Internet, E-commerce, Computer software
Founded Hangzhou, China (1999)
Headquarters Hangzhou (China Headquarters), Hong Kong (International Headquarters), China, Hong Kong
Area served China and overseas
Key people Ma Yun (Jack Ma), Chairman
Revenue USD 4.1 billion (2012)
Owner(s) Ma Yun (Jack Ma), Chairman
Employees 24,000 (2012)

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