Company Overview

Alibaba Group’s mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. We operate leading online and mobile marketplaces in consumer and business-to-business commerce, as well as cloud computing and other services. We are committed to developing a technology-driven commerce ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, merchants and service providers.

Alibaba Group was founded in 1999 by 18 people led by Jack Ma, a former English teacher from Hangzhou, China. Our founders started our company to champion small businesses, in the belief that the Internet would level the playing field by enabling small enterprises to leverage innovation and technology to compete more effectively in the domestic and global economies.

Alibaba Group’s major businesses include:


Taobao Marketplace - China's most visited online shopping destination according to

Taobao Marketplace ( is the Internet destination of choice for Chinese consumers looking for convenience, wide selection and value. Shoppers choose from a wide range of products and services on Taobao Marketplace, which features hundreds of millions of product listings. Taobao Marketplace was launched in May 2003. It is currently one of the world’s top 10 most visited websites, according to, and the Mobile Taobao App was the top mobile commerce app in China in February 2014, according to iResearch. - China's leading online mall for quality, brand-name goods ( is dedicated to providing a first-class shopping experience for increasingly sophisticated Chinese consumers in search of top-quality branded merchandise. It was launched in April 2008 as part of Taobao Marketplace and became an independent platform in June 2011.

Thousands of international and Chinese brands and retail merchants have established storefronts on Among these brands are Apple, Microsoft, UNIQLO, L’Oréal, adidas, P&G, Unilever, Gap, Ray-Ban, Nike and Levi's. was the largest B2C online retail platform in China based on the gross merchandise value transacted in 2013, according to iResearch.

Juhuasuan - Leading group buying platform in China

Launched in March 2010, Juhuasuan ( is the leading online group buying site in China based on monthly active users in 2013, according to iResearch. It offers quality products at discounted prices by aggregating demand from numerous consumers.

1688 - Leading wholesale marketplace for domestic China trade among small businesses

Launched in 1999, ( is a leading wholesale marketplace for domestic China trade among small businesses. Started as a business-to-business (B2B) platform, has in recent years evolved into a wholesale and procurement marketplace with an increased focus on serving as a sourcing platform for sellers on the Taobao platforms.

AliExpress - Popular e-marketplace for global consumers

Launched in April 2010, AliExpress ( is a retail marketplace targeted at consumers worldwide, many of them located in the United States and emerging markets including Eastern Europe and South America. The platform is primarily made up of small business sellers offering good value on a wide variety of consumer products.

Top - Leading global wholesale platform for small businesses

The first business of Alibaba Group, ( is the leading platform for cross-border wholesale trade serving millions of buyers and suppliers around the globe. Through, small businesses can sell their products to companies in other countries and source merchandise from abroad.


Alibaba Cloud Computing - Developer of platforms for cloud computing and data management

Established in September 2009, Alibaba Cloud Computing ( develops highly scalable platforms for cloud computing and data management. It supports Alibaba Group’s commerce ecosystem and also provides sellers and third-party service providers on our marketplaces and any customer who needs computing power with a comprehensive suite of cloud-based computing services.

We also derive support for our ecosystem from the businesses and services of related companies including:


Alipay - Leading online and mobile payment solution in China

Launched in December 2004 and operating as a related company of Alibaba Group, Alipay ( provides a secure, trusted and convenient way for individuals and businesses to make and receive payments online and on mobile phones. Alipay is the payment solution supporting the online and mobile versions of Taobao Marketplace and Consumers also use Alipay for daily activities such as paying restaurant, utility, healthcare and credit card bills. Alipay is not our subsidiary but our related company.

Alipay offers an online payment solution to help retailers in North America and Europe sell directly to consumers in China and supports transactions in 14 major foreign currencies.

History & Milestones

1999 Alibaba Group is officially established by its 18 founders, led by Jack Ma, working out of a Hangzhou apartment.
1999-2000 Alibaba Group raises US$25 million from Softbank, Goldman Sachs, Fidelity, and other institutions.
2002 becomes profitable.
2003 Consumer e-commerce website Taobao is founded, again in Jack Ma's apartment.
Online payment system Alipay is launched.
2005 Alibaba Group forms a strategic partnership with Yahoo! Inc. and takes over the operation of China Yahoo!.
2006 Alibaba Group makes a strategic investment in
2007 Internet-based business software company Alisoft is launched. (January) Limited lists on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. (November)
Alibaba Group launches Alimama, an online advertising exchange company. (November)
2008 Taobao Mall (currently known as, a dedicated B2C platform, is introduced to complement Taobao’s C2C marketplace. (April) merges with China Yahoo! to form Yahoo! Koubei. (June)
Alimama is integrated with Taobao. (September)
Alibaba Group R&D Institute is established. (September)
2009 Alisoft merges with Alibaba Group R&D Institute. (July)
Alisoft's Business Management Software division is injected into (August) is injected into Taobao as part of the "Big Taobao" strategy, which positions Taobao as a one-stop e-commerce service provider to promote wider use of e-commerce among consumers. (August)
Alibaba Cloud Computing is established in conjunction with Alibaba Group's 10th anniversary celebration. (September)
2010 Alibaba Group creates a cross-business team comprising senior managers from Taobao, Alipay, Alibaba Cloud Computing and China Yahoo! to execute a full-scale roll-out of the "Big Taobao" strategy. (March)
Alibaba Group announces that it will begin in 2010 to earmark 0.3 percent of annual revenues to fund efforts designed to spur environmental awareness and conservation in China and around the world. (May)
Taobao Mall launches a new independent web domain, (November)
2011 Alibaba Group announces its plan to build a network of warehouses across China and, together with its partners, drive major investment in logistics development in the country. (January)
Alibaba Group reorganizes Taobao into three separate companies, Taobao Marketplace, and eTao, to capture Chinese consumer e-commerce opportunities. (June)
2012 changes its Chinese name to strengthen its positioning as a source of high-quality, brand-name products. (January) delists from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. (June)
Alibaba Group upgrades its existing subsidiaries’ operations by placing them within seven business groups: Alibaba International Business Operations, Alibaba Small Business Operations, Taobao Marketplace,, Juhuasuan, eTao and Alibaba Cloud Computing. (July)
Alibaba Group completes the initial repurchase of shares from Yahoo! and restructures its relationship with the latter. (September)
Taobao Marketplace and reach a combined GMV of RMB1 trillion for the period January to November 2012. (November)
2013 Alibaba Cloud Computing merges with HiChina. (January)
Alibaba Group is reorganized into 25 business units to better adapt to China’s fast-growing e-commerce environment. (January)

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