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Alibaba

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http://www.alibaba.com

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Alibaba Group Holding Limited is a privately owned Hangzhou-based group of Internet-based e-commerce businesses including business-to-business online web portals, online retail and payment services, a 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.com combined. The company primarily operates in the People’s Republic of China, and in March 2013 was estimated by The Economist magazine to have a valuation between $55 billion to more than $120 billion.

The group began in 1999 when Jack Ma founded the web site Alibaba.com, a business-to-business portal to connect Chinese manufacturers with overseas buyers. Alibaba's consumer-to-consumer portal Taobao, similar to 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. The company in September 2013 was seeking an initial public offering in the United States after a deal could not be reached with Hong Kong regulators. Planning took 12 months with the IPO finally planned to hit the market in September 2014. The ticker was allocated as BABA, while the raising was expected to be $20 billion.

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