Alibaba Group

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Alibaba Group
Type e-commerce
Founded Hangzhou, China (1999)
Headquarters 6/F Chuangye Mansion, East Software Park, No.99 Huaxing Road, Hangzhou, 310099, China
Key people Ma Yun (Jack Ma)
Industry Internet
Employees 17,000 (September 2009)
Website Contact Us

Alibaba Group (simplified Chinese: 阿里巴巴公司traditional Chinese: 阿裡巴巴公司pinyin: Ālǐbābā Gōngsī), is a privately owned Hangzhou-based family of Internet-based businesses that includes business-to-business international trade, online retail and payment platforms and data-centric cloud computing services. It was founded by Ma Yun (Jack Ma) in 1999.

The five core companies are:

  • (SEHK: 1688) - publicly traded company operating three business-to-business e-commerce marketplaces
  • - online retail marketplace
  • Alipay - third-party online payment platform,
  • Alibaba Cloud Computing - advanced data-centric cloud computing service platform
  • China Yahoo! - a leading Chinese-language portal

According to iResearch, it was the largest online B2B company in China in 2006 based on the number of registered users and market share in China by revenue.



Alibaba Group, through its subsidiaries, operates as a family of Internet-based businesses in the People’s Republic of China and internationally. It provides software, technology, and other services connecting small and medium-sized buyers and suppliers. The company offers platforms for international trade, domestic trade and retail trade; and provides business services related to SME financing, online marketing and management software. Its products and services also include online payment, instant messaging, online advertising exchange, classified listings and cloud computing.

Listings displayed on’s online marketplaces cover a range of products and services in various industries, including agriculture, apparel, automobile, business services, chemicals, computer hardware and software, construction and real estate, electrical equipment supplies, electronic components and supplies, energy, environment, excess inventory, fashion accessories, food and beverage, furniture and furnishings, gifts and crafts, health and beauty, home appliances, home supplies, industrial supplies, lights and lighting, luggage, bags and cases, minerals, metals and materials, office supplies, packaging and paper, printing and publishing, security and protection, shoes and accessories, sports and entertainment, telecommunications, textiles and leather products, timepieces, jewelry and eyewear, toys, and transportation.


The flagship business of Alibaba Group, (HKSE: 1688) has transformed from a bulletin board service for businesses to post buy and sell trade leads to a global marketplace for SMEs over the last 10 years. Founded in Hangzhou in eastern China, has offices in more than 50 cities across Greater China, Japan, Korea, Europe and the United States. As of September 30, 2009, had 10.5 million registered users on its international marketplace and more than 34.8 million registered users on its Chinese domestic marketplace.

Japan's Softbank was one of the earliest investors in Alibaba Group. Its founder, Masayoshi Son, invested US$20 million in the company in 2000 and also participated in subsequent rounds of financing.

On 10 August 2005, Yahoo! announced that it would purchase a 40% stake in the company for US$1bn plus Yahoo!'s Chinese assets. Alibaba Group then took charge of China Yahoo!, and Alibaba Group's founder Jack Ma remained in charge of Alibaba Group.


Alibaba screenshot

Jack Ma said: "One day I was in San Francisco in a coffee shop, and I was thinking Alibaba is a good name. And then a waitress came, and I said do you know about Alibaba? And she said yes. I said what do you know about Alibaba, and she said ‘Open sesame'. And I said yes, this is the name! Then I went onto the street and found 30 people and asked them, ‘Do you know Alilbaba’? People from India, people from Germany, people from Tokyo and China… They all knew about Alibaba. Alibaba — open sesame. Alibaba — 40 thieves. Alibaba is not a thief. Alibaba is a kind, smart business person, and he helped the village. So…easy to spell, and globally known. Alibaba opens sesame for small- to medium-sized companies. We also registered the name Alimama, in case someone wants to marry us!"[2][1]

Listing was listed in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange at the IPO price of HK$13.5 on 6 November 2007, raising HK$13.1 billion (US$1.7 billion) in the second-largest initial public offering sale of an Internet company after Google Inc.

Marketplaces operates two key online B2B marketplaces, an international marketplace and a China marketplace. The company’s English-language international marketplace ( serves to bring together global importers and exporters from more than 240 countries and regions. The China marketplace ( is focused on facilitating domestic B2B trade within China. The company also operates a Japanese-language marketplace facilitating trade to and from Japan through an associated company.

Both international and China marketplaces are segmented into over 40 industry verticals covering every major consumer category such as apparel, electronics, gifts, beauty, security products and office supplies. The company claims that together the two marketplaces have more than 45 million registered users – 10.5 million in the international marketplace and 34.8 million in the China marketplace.

As well as the Hangzhou headquarters, the company maintains more than 50 other sales and marketing offices in China as well as overseas offices in Taiwan, Hong Kong, the U.S. and Europe. As of mid-2009, had more than 9,000 employees – the vast majority of whom are based in China.

Customer communications

Visitors to in 2008

In August 2009, launched an integrated U.S. marketing effort that begins with a new branding campaign and also runs across events, business development and training. With the tagline, ==Find It. Make It. Sell It.==, the campaign targets small businesses and entrepreneurs and encourages them to draw up their business plan, lock down their prototype and get on to make it happen[2] .[3]The campaign highlights three fictional characters and how they found success on Video mocumentaries, sourcing tips, event information and online information are available on

In the end of 2008, launched landing pages in six non-English language versions, which help native traders source products online easily. The sites are::


External links

ms:Alibaba Group ja:阿里巴巴集団 tr:Alibaba zh:阿里巴巴公司

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