Alibaba Group is a family of Internet-based businesses with a mission to make it easy for anyone to buy or sell anywhere in the world. Since its inception, it has developed leading businesses in consumer e-commerce, online payment, business-to-business marketplaces and cloud computing and has expanded into new areas such as mobile apps, mobile operating system and Internet TV. The company is focused on fostering the development of an open, collaborative and prosperous e-commerce ecosystem that benefits consumers, merchants and the economy as a whole.
Alibaba Group was founded in 1999 by 18 people led by Jack Ma, a former English teacher from Hangzhou, China who has aspired to help make the Internet accessible, trustworthy and beneficial for everyone. The privately held Alibaba Group currently employs more than 20,000 people around the world and has more than 70 offices in Greater China, Singapore, India, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Alibaba Group’s major businesses and affiliated entities include:
Taobao Marketplace - China's most popular C2C online shopping destination
Launched in May 2003, Taobao Marketplace (www.taobao.com) is the most popular consumer-to-consumer (C2C) online marketplace in China catering to buyers who value product selection and price competitiveness. With around 760 million product listings as of March 2013, Taobao Marketplace is one of the world’s top 20 most visited websites according to Alexa. For the year ended March 31, 2013, the combined gross merchandise volume (GMV) of Taobao Marketplace and Tmall.com exceeded RMB1 trillion.
Taobao Marketplace is a business within Alibaba Group.
Tmall.com - China's leading B2C shopping destination for quality, brand-name goods
Tmall.com (www.tmall.com) is an online shopping landmark in China dedicated to providing an excellent shopping experience. It was launched by Taobao in April 2008 to complement its consumer-to-consumer (C2C) marketplace and became an independent platform in June 2011. An open business-to-consumer (B2C) platform, Tmall.com has established itself as the destination for quality, brand-name goods catering to increasingly sophisticated Chinese consumers. It is the most visited B2C online retail website in China according to Alexa.
As of March 2013, more than 70,000 international and Chinese brands have established retail storefronts on Tmall.com, and among those brands are UNIQLO, L’Oréal, adidas, P&G, Unilever, Gap, Ray-Ban, Nike and Levi's. Tmall.com offers several product verticals with customized customer services, including Consumer Electronics mall; Book mall; Home Furnishing mall; Designer Footwear mall; and Beauty mall. Tmall.com and Taobao Marketplace set a record for highest single-day transaction volume during a special promotion on November 11, 2013, facilitating the sales of goods totaling more than RMB35 billion on the day. For the year ended March 31, 2013, the combined gross merchandise volume (GMV) of the two platforms exceeded RMB1 trillion.
Tmall.com is a business within Alibaba Group.
Juhuasuan - Comprehensive group shopping platform in China
Juhuasuan (www.juhuasuan.com) is a comprehensive group shopping platform in China. It was launched by Taobao in March 2010 and became an independent platform in October 2011. Juhuasuan’s mission is to aggregate consumer power to offer a wide selection of high-quality merchandise and local lifestyle services at discounted prices.
Juhuasuan is a business within Alibaba Group.
eTao - Comprehensive shopping search engine in China
eTao (www.etao.com) is a shopping search engine in China which provides comprehensive information about products, merchants and promotional offers. It was launched by Taobao in October 2010 and became an independent platform in June 2011. Its mission is to create a “one-stop shopping engine” which can assist Chinese consumers in making online purchase decisions and help them identify low-cost, high-quality merchandise on the Internet faster.
Features and services offered by eTao include product search, deal and coupon search, hotel search, rebates and Tao Bar community. It reflects product results from various business-to-consumer (B2C) online shopping platforms and individual brands including Amazon China, Dangdang, Gome, Yihaodian, Nike China and Vancl, in addition to Taobao Marketplace and Tmall.com.
eTao is a business within Alibaba Group.
Alibaba.com - Leading global e-commerce platform for small businesses
Launched in 1999, Alibaba.com (www.alibaba.com) is the leading global e-commerce platform for small businesses around the world. It aims to be the go-to English-language platform for cross-border trade and help small businesses worldwide expand to overseas markets. The platform, which now serves millions of buyers and suppliers from more than 240 countries and regions, showcases products ranging from raw materials to finished goods in more than 40 industry categories.
Alibaba.com is a business within Alibaba Group.
1688.com - Leading e-commerce platform for domestic China trade among small businesses
Launched in 1999, 1688.com (www.1688.com) is the leading e-commerce platform for domestic China trade among small businesses. Started as a business-to-business (B2B) platform, 1688.com has in recent years evolved into a wholesale and procurement marketplace with an increased focus on serving the product sourcing needs of sellers on the Taobao platforms.
1688.com is a business within Alibaba Group.
AliExpress - Leading global e-marketplace for consumers
Launched in April 2010, AliExpress (www.aliexpress.com) is a leading global e-marketplace made up of small business sellers that offer a wide variety of consumer products with good value for money. It is dedicated to bringing unique products in more than 20 major product categories to its millions of registered buyers in more than 220 countries and regions.
AliExpress is a business within Alibaba Group.
Alibaba Cloud Computing - Developer of platforms for cloud computing and data management
Established in September 2009, Alibaba Cloud Computing (www.aliyun.com) is a developer of platforms for cloud computing and data management. It is committed to building the first platform of choice for sharing data and offering data-centric cloud computing services. Alibaba Cloud Computing supports the growth of Alibaba Group and the whole e-commerce ecosystem by providing sellers on the Taobao platforms as well as third-party users with a comprehensive suite of Internet-based computing services, which include data mining, data processing and data storage.
Alibaba Cloud Computing is a business within Alibaba Group.
Alipay - Most widely used third-party online payment platform in China
Launched in December 2004, Alipay (www.alipay.com) is the most widely used third-party online payment solution in China. It provides an easy, safe and secure way for millions of individuals and businesses to make and receive payments on the Internet. On November 11, 2013, Alipay set a record for the highest number of single-day transactions, processing 171.3 million payments during the 24-hour period.
The preferred online payment tool of Internet merchants in China, Alipay provides an escrow payment service that reduces transaction risk for online consumers. Shoppers have the ability to verify whether they are happy with goods they have purchased before releasing funds to the seller.
Alipay partners with multiple financial institutions including leading national and regional banks across China as well as Visa and MasterCard to facilitate payments in China and abroad. In addition to Taobao Marketplace and Tmall.com, Alipay provides payment solutions to merchants in a wide range of industries including online retail, virtual gaming, digital communications, commercial services, air ticketing and utilities. It also offers an online payment solution to help merchants worldwide sell directly to consumers in China and supports transactions in 14 major foreign currencies.
Alipay is an affiliate of Alibaba Group.
History & Milestones
||Alibaba Group is officially established by its 18 founders, led by Jack Ma, working out of a Hangzhou apartment.
||Alibaba Group raises US$25 million from Softbank, Goldman Sachs, Fidelity, and other institutions.
||Alibaba.com becomes profitable.
||Consumer e-commerce website Taobao is founded, again in Jack Ma's apartment.
Online payment system Alipay is launched.
||Alibaba Group forms a strategic partnership with Yahoo! Inc. and takes over the operation of China Yahoo!.
||Alibaba Group makes a strategic investment in Koubei.com.
||Internet-based business software company Alisoft is launched. (January)
Alibaba.com Limited lists on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. (November)
Alibaba Group launches Alimama, an online advertising exchange company. (November)
||Taobao Mall (currently known as Tmall.com), a dedicated B2C platform, is introduced to complement Taobao’s C2C marketplace. (April)
Koubei.com merges with China Yahoo! to form Yahoo! Koubei. (June)
Alimama is integrated with Taobao. (September)
Alibaba Group R&D Institute is established. (September)
||Alisoft merges with Alibaba Group R&D Institute. (July)
Alisoft's Business Management Software division is injected into Alibaba.com. (August)
Koubei.com 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)
||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, Tmall.com. (November)
||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, Tmall.com and eTao, to capture the Chinese consumer e-commerce opportunities. (June)
||Tmall.com changes its Chinese name to strengthen its positioning as a source of high-quality, brand-name products. (January)
Alibaba.com delists from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. (June)
Alibaba Group upgrades its existing subsidiaries’ operations into one of the seven business groups: Alibaba International Business Operations, Alibaba Small Business Operations, Taobao Marketplace, Tmall.com, Juhuasuan, eTao and Alibaba Cloud Computing. (July)
Alibaba Group completes the initial repurchase of shares from Yahoo! and restructured its relationship with the latter. (September)
Taobao Marketplace and Tmall.com reach a combined GMV of RMB1 trillion for the period January to November 2012. (November)
||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)