Chinese multinational technology corporation Alibaba Group Holding Limited, better known as Alibaba, specializes in e-commerce, retail, the Internet, and technology. The company, which was established on June 28, 1999, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, offers electronic payment services, shopping search engines, cloud computing services, as well as consumer-to-consumer (C2C), business-to-consumer (B2C), and business-to-business (B2B) sales services via web portals. It manages a diversified portfolio of businesses in many different industries around the world.
The initial public offering (IPO) of Alibaba on the New York Stock Exchange garnered US$25 billion on September 19, 2014, giving the business a market value of US$231 billion and making it by far the largest IPO in history.
On the Forbes Global 2000 2020 list, it is ranked as the 31st-largest public firm in the world and is one of the top 10 most valuable corporations. After its rival Tencent, Alibaba became the second Asian business to surpass the US$500 billion valuation threshold in January 2018. Alibaba has the sixth-highest worldwide brand valuation as of 2020.
One of the biggest merchants and e-commerce enterprises in the world is Alibaba. It was ranked as the fifth-biggest artificial intelligence company in 2020. It is also one of the largest investment and venture capital businesses in the world, and through its fintech subsidiary Ant Group, it is the second-largest financial services group behind Visa.
The business operates the biggest C2C (Taobao), B2C (Tmall), and B2B (Alibaba.com) marketplaces in the world. With sales increasing by quadruple percentage points every year, it has been extending into the media sector. It also broke the record on China's Singles' Day 2018, the biggest online and offline shopping day in the world.
The character Ali Baba from the Middle Eastern folktale collection One Thousand and One Nights served as the inspiration for the firm name due to its ubiquity. One of the founders, Jack Ma, responded to Lorraine Hahn on TalkAsia by saying: "One day, I was at a coffee shop in San Francisco and I was thinking Alibaba is a nice name."
When a waitress eventually arrived, I asked, "Do you know about Alibaba?" The answer was yes. When I asked what she knew of Alibaba, she responded, "Open Sesame." I then responded, "Yes, that's the name!" Then I went outside and approached 30 people, asking, "Do you know Alilbaba?" There are folks from China, Tokyo, Germany, India, and the United States.
They were all aware about Alibaba. Alibaba is a sesame seed. Alibaba has 40 robbers. Alibaba does not steal. Alibaba is a good-hearted, astute businessman who assisted the hamlet. So simple to spell, and widely known. Alibaba makes sesame available to small and medium-sized businesses. In the event that someone wants to marry us, we have also registered the name AliMama!
Alibaba's B2B service headquarters are located in Hangzhou at the Alibaba Binjiang Campus.
As an English instructor in Hangzhou in 1999, Jack Ma started Alibaba.com, the company's main operation. Later, as of 2014, Alibaba.com was the largest B2B trade platform for small enterprises worldwide.
Three primary services are provided by Alibaba.com: the English-language portal Alibaba.com, which manages sales between importers and exporters from more than 240 countries and regions; the Chinese-language portal 1688.com, which handles domestic B2B trade in China; and the transaction-based retail website AliExpress.com, which enables smaller consumers to purchase small quantities of goods at wholesale prices.
In 2007, Alibaba.com went public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, then in 2012, it was once more delisted. A direct channel that 1688.com introduced in 2013 was in charge of $30 million in daily transaction value.
Alibaba introduced Taobao Marketplace in 2003, which provided a range of goods for retail sales. According to Alexa Internet, Taobao developed into China's largest C2C online retail platform and eventually rose to the second-most popular website in China. The fact that Taobao offered free registration and commission-free transactions through a free third-party payment platform was credited with its rise.
75% of the company's total revenue came from advertising, enabling it to break even in 2009. According to estimations from iResearch, Taobao's profit in 2010 was anticipated to be 1.5 billion (US$235.7 million), which was significantly less than the industry average of 2 percent and only approximately 0.4 percent of their total sales of 400 billion (US$62.9 billion) that year.
The number of Taobao stores with annual sales under $100,000 increased by 60% between 2011 and 2013, the number of stores with annual sales between $10,000 and $1,000,000 increased by 30%, and the number of stores with annual sales over $100,000 increased by 33%, according to Zhang Yu, the company's director.
Taobao launched a spin-off in April 2008 called Taobao Mall (later known as Tmall.com), an online retail platform to supplement the Taobao C2C portal and provide international brands to a growing number of wealthy Chinese consumers. As of 2013, it rose to the eighth-most popular website in China.
Tmall.com later changed its Chinese name to Tianmao (literally, "sky cat") in 2012 to suit Tmall's pronunciation in that language. Juhuasuan, a website for group shopping that Taobao launched in March 2010, offers "flash deals," or goods that are discounted for a limited time. A comparative shopping website called eTao, which delivers search results from primarily Chinese online shopping platforms and includes product, sales, and coupon searches, was beta-launched on Taobao in October 2010.
According to the Alibaba Group website, in addition to Taobao and Tmall, eTao also sells goods from Nike China, Dangdang, Gome, Amazon China, and Vancl. These spin-offs were created in 2011 as part of an effort by Alibaba to restructure Taobao. Tmall and eTao separated from Taobao in June, and Juhuasuan did the same in October.
Alibaba introduced AliExpress.com in 2010, an online retail platform made up primarily of small Chinese companies selling goods to customers worldwide. It is Russia's most popular e-commerce site. It enables Chinese small firms to sell to people around the globe, resulting in a vast range of goods.
Though given that merchants on AliExpress are independent and that eBay only acts as a platform for other companies to sell to customers, that comparison might be more appropriate. On Aliexpress, sellers can be businesses or individuals, similar to eBay. It links Chinese companies with potential customers directly. The primary distinction between it and Taobao is that it caters mostly to foreign consumers, particularly those from the US, Russia, Brazil, and Spain.
Alibaba founded Cainiao in 2013 with the help of six significant Chinese logistics companies, including SF Express, to handle package delivery inside of China. In 2014, this network has expanded progressively to 14 neighborhood logistics firms. Two of the biggest and most well-known online retail marketplaces in the world, Alibaba's Taobao and Tmall, reached a total transaction volume of 3 trillion yuan (US$478.6 billion) in 2016.
By 2020, the corporation wants to double the amount of transactions to 6 trillion yuan. In comparison to Tmall, which had 500 million monthly active users as of February 2018, Taobao had 580 million. Additionally, it is quickly growing its international e-commerce network. As part of an ambitious foreign development, Alibaba has also disclosed that it will invest 100 billion yuan over the course of five years to create a worldwide logistics network, proving its commitment to creating the most effective logistics network in China and the rest of the world.
In order to increase its investment in Cainiao Logistics from 47 percent to 51 percent, it is investing an additional 5.3 billion yuan. Cainiao, a joint venture of leading Chinese logistics companies, would be worth almost $20 billion after the investment.
Alibaba introduced the US commerce website 11 Main on June 11. According to the firm, the 11 Main marketplace already has more than 1,000 sellers in categories like apparel, jewelry, and fashion accessories as well as home decor and handmade goods. Alibaba stated on June 23, 2015, that it was selling 11 Main to New York-based online marketplace operator OpenSky.
Alibaba makes a $590 million investment in Meizu in February 2015 for an undisclosed minority stake.
In order to access China's rapidly expanding local services industry, Alibaba and its affiliate Ant Financial Group established the joint venture Koubei in June 2015. Each partner invested roughly US$483 million for an equal equity position in the company.
Alibaba said in April 2016 that it intends to buy a majority stake in Lazada for $500 million in new shares and $500 million in existing investor shares. Rocket Internet established the Singaporean e-commerce business Lazada Group in 2011. Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam all have websites run by Lazada.
Its websites went up in March 2012 with a business plan that involved selling clients merchandise from its own warehouses. It implemented a marketplace format in 2013 so that independent merchants may sell their goods on Lazada's website. Consumer electronics, home goods, toys, fashion, and sporting goods are just a few of the many product categories available on Lazada.
Alibaba declared its intention to make a total investment of $4 billion in the business in March 2018. Additionally, Alibaba intends to name Lucy Peng, a co-founder of the company, as Lazada's new CEO. In October 2016, Alibaba unveiled Alitrip, a later-renamed platform for booking travel that serves as an online marketplace for businesses like travel agents and airlines. Younger people are Fliggy's target market, and the company wants to be their one-stop travel shop, especially for international travel.
Alibaba Group and the Marriott International hotel group made an extensive strategic partnership announcement on August 7, 2017. A joint venture company will be established by two businesses. With the help of its outstanding resources and docking technologies, Fliggy has a flagship location for the Marriott hotel. It performs the same role as the Marriott Chinese website and Marriott mobile app to give customers the best possible experience when traveling internationally.
In 2016, Taobao was once again listed to the Office of the United States Trade Representative's list of infamous counterfeit websites, which also includes sites like The Pirate Bay that host torrents. As of January 4, 2017, Alibaba has denied any wrongdoing and had filed two lawsuits against the counterfeiters, although brands whose sales had been impacted by the fake goods accused Alibaba of not doing enough.
As part of its "new retail strategy," Alibaba began opening a chain of supermarkets in 2017 under the moniker Hema (lit. box horse), where patrons may place orders in-person or online for delivery in less than 30 minutes. It provides a mobile app that makes product recommendations to users based on data analytics. Additionally, consumers can have their products prepared for consumption in the supermarket's food court.
It was revealed in October 2018 that Alibaba's Koubei and the online meal delivery service Ele.me have joined to launch a new local life service business. However, Meituan, a prominent local service provider sponsored by Tencent, presented fierce opposition to the newly established Alibaba Local Life Service business, sparking rumors of impending layoffs in 2022.
Alibaba and the French billionaire Mulliez family reached an agreement in October 2020 for Alibaba to pay US$3.6 billion to acquire control of Sun Art, the largest hypermarket operator in China. The agreement increased the group's ownership of the hypermarket chain from 72% to 120%.
To strive to assure that each seller is legitimate, Alibaba.com offers a paid Gold Supplier membership; sellers' Gold Supplier status and the number of years it has been held are shown. On Alibaba.com's website, supplier verification kinds and checks are mentioned, with more rigorous inspections for merchants outside of China. Despite reports that the majority of suppliers are reliable, there have been numerous instances of sellers, some of whom have Gold Supplier accreditation, attempting to con unwary customers.
When Alibaba's corporate office acknowledged in February 2011 that it had given the "China Gold Supplier" program's seal of integrity to more than 2,000 dealers who had later deceived customers, uproar resulted; the company's share price fell "abruptly" as a result.
Yan Limin, the general manager of Alibaba.com at the time, was reportedly fired in March for "misconduct," according to a statement from the company. Phil Muncaster of the UK's The Register also said that "an additional 28 workers had been implicated in questionable deals."
The company's response, as noted by The Economist, has conflicting elements: Alibaba's promoted view that its corrective actions demonstrate its commitment to quality and integrity (where it distinguishes itself from other scandal-associated Chinese business sectors), versus a damage control view suggesting that the subscription-driven, third-party verified "China Gold Supplier" program was endangered by diminished trust in its endorsement system, removing the incentive for gl (the latter via the "defenestration of senior people"). The issue allegedly put Alibaba Group CEO Jack Ma, who was claimed to be enraged by the scandal, in a position to personally fight for regaining trust.
Alibaba launched Alibaba Cloud in September 2009 to coincide with the company's tenth anniversary, with the goal of developing a cloud computing service platform that includes e-commerce data mining, e-commerce data processing, and data customizing. In Hangzhou, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Silicon Valley, and Dubai, it has R&D facilities and operators. Alibaba Cloud and Inspur signed a collaboration agreement in July 2014.
The biggest premium cloud computing provider in China is Alibaba Cloud. HiChina, the biggest provider of web hosting and domain registration services in China, was purchased by Alibaba in 2009 and integrated into Alibaba Cloud. AliOS (formerly Yun OS and Aliyun OS), a Linux distribution made specifically for mobile devices, was published by Alibaba Cloud on July 28, 2011. Alibaba introduced AliGenie, a China-based open-platform intelligent personal assistant, during the 2017 Computing Conference in Hangzhou. The smart speaker Tmall Genie currently uses it.
City Brain, a technology aimed at urban issues like streamlining traffic, identifying accidents, and enhancing transportation efficiency, was introduced in 2018 by Alibaba's Wanli Min.
Alibaba revealed the XuanTie-910, a 64-bit RISC-V processor, on July 27, 2019. (Black Iron 910). It was created by T-Head, a division of Alibaba, and has a 12 nm, 16-core architecture with a 2.5 GHz clockspeed (also known as Pingtouge). Alibaba asserts that the Xuantie-910 is capable of 7.1 Coremark/MHz and is quicker than the ARM Cortex-A73.
Alibaba unveiled the Hanguang 800, an AI accelerator, on September 25, 2019. T-Head and DAMO Academy (Alibaba's research team) created the 12 nm-processed Hanguang 800, which has 17 billion transistors. Alibaba asserts that it can process 500 IPS/W in ResNet-50 at a rate of 78,563 pictures per second (IPS). Alibaba Cloud will offer the ability to rent the Hanguang 800.
President Joe Biden's administration began looking into the Alibaba Cloud business' possible threat to American national security on January 18, 2022. This involved checking the provider's storage facility for the data of U.S. clients to see if the Chinese government could access it.
The New York Times revealed in December 2020 that Alibaba had created and commercialized facial recognition and surveillance software that could identify the faces of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in China.
In response, Alibaba stated that it was "dismayed to find" that its Alibaba Cloud subsidiary had created this functionality, but defended the development of the technology by stating that it was done "in a testing environment" and that "no customer" had used it.
Although Alibaba failed to offer any evidence that the Uyghur identification feature was only a "test" or "trial," IPVM stated in December 2020 that Alibaba's own website showed Uyghur recognition as a live feature.