Coordinates: 30°11′31.12″N 120°11′9.79″E /
30.1919778°N 120.1860528°E / 30.1919778; 120.1860528
Alibaba Group Holding Limited
Type of site
4 April 1999; 19 years ago (1999-04-04)
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
(Executive Vice Chairman)
J. Michael Evans
Online auction hosting, Online money transfers, Mobile
CN¥158.273 billion (US$23.82 billion, 2017)
CN¥48.055 billion (US$7.23 billion, 2017)
CN¥41.226 billion (US$6.2 billion, 2017)
CN¥506.812 billion (US$76.28 billion, 2017)
CN¥321.129 billion (US$48.33 billion, 2017)
Alibaba.com, Guangzhou Evergrande
Taobao F.C., Taobao, Tmall, UCWeb,
AliExpress, Juhuasuan.com, 1688.com, Alimama.com, Ant Financial,
Youku Tudou, Alibaba Cloud
175 (as on 08 November 2017)
Alibaba Group Holding Limited (Chinese:
阿里巴巴集团控股有限公司; pinyin: Ālǐbābā Jítuán
Kònggǔ Yǒuxiàn Gōngsī) is a Chinese multinational e-commerce,
retail, Internet, AI and technology conglomerate founded in 1999 that
provides consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and
business-to-business sales services via web portals, as well as
electronic payment services, shopping search engines and cloud
computing services. It owns and operates a diverse array of businesses
around the world in numerous sectors, and is named as one of the
world's most admired companies by Fortune..
At closing time on the date of its initial public offering (IPO) - the
world's highest, 19 September 2014, Alibaba's market value was US$231
billion. As of January 2018, Alibaba's market cap stood at US$527
billion. It is one of the top 10 most valuable and biggest
companies in the world. In January 2018, Alibaba became the second
Asian company to break the US$500 billion valuation mark, after
Alibaba is the world's largest and most valuable retailer since April
2016, with operations in over 200 countries, as well as one of
Internet companies. Its online sales and profits surpassed
all US retailers (including Walmart, Amazon and eBay) combined since
2015. It has been expanding into the media industry, with revenues
rising by triple percentage points year on year. It also
Singles' Day into the world's biggest online and
offline shopping day, with its own sales reaching over US$25.4 billion
on 11 November 2017.
Recently, Alibaba has outperformed major cloud players including
Google in public cloud revenue growth, achieving
triple-digit percentage revenue growth year-on-year.
1.1 Founding and name
1.2 Brick and mortar stores
1.4 Company timeline
2 Companies and affiliated entities
E-commerce and retail service platforms
2.1.4 Fliggy Corporate
2.1.6 11 Main
2.2 Cloud computing
Alibaba Cloud (Aliyun)
2.3 Fintech and online payment platforms
2.4 Entertainment services
2.4.2 Alibaba Pictures
China Morning Post
2.5.9 Ali Venture Capital
3 Corporate governance
4.1 Gold Supplier membership
4.2 Uranium sales
4.3 Counterfeit items and scams
6 External links
Founding and name
The company's name came from the character
Ali Baba from the Arabian
One Thousand and One Nights
One Thousand and One Nights because of its universal
appeal. As Jack Ma, one of the founders, explained:
Taobao City", the main corporate campus for
Alibaba Group at Xixi,
Alibaba Binjiang Campus in Hangzhou, headquarters for Alibaba's B2B
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?", and she said, "Open Sesame". And I said, "Yes, this is the
name!" Then I went on to the street and found 30 people and asked
them, "Do you know Alibaba?" People from India, people from Germany,
people from Tokyo and
China … they all knew about Alibaba. Alibaba
– open sesame. 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!"
Brick and mortar stores
According to Li Chuan, a senior executive at Alibaba, the company was
planning in 2013 to open a traditional brick and mortar retail outlets
in partnership with Chinese real estate company Dalian Wanda
Group. Additionally, Alibaba purchased a 25% stake in Hong
Retail in early 2014. In early 2017, Alibaba and
Intime's founder Shen Guojun agreed to pay as much as 19.8 billion
Hong Kong dollars (US$2.6 billion) to take the store chain private.
Alibaba's stake—28% from 2014's US$692 million investment—would
rise to about 74% after the deal.
On 5 September 2014, the group—in a regulatory filing with the US
Securities and Exchange Commission—set a US$60- to $66- per-share
price range for its scheduled initial public offering (IPO), the final
price of which would be determined after an international roadshow to
gauge the investor interest in Alibaba shares to shareholders.
On 18 September 2014, Alibaba's IPO priced at US$68, raising
US$21.8 billion for the company and investors. Alibaba was the
biggest US IPO in history. On 19 September 2014, Alibaba's
shares (BABA) began trading on the NYSE at an opening price of $92.70
at 11:55 am EST. On 22 September 2014, Alibaba's underwriters
announced their confirmation that they had exercised a greenshoe
option to sell 15% more shares than originally planned, boosting the
total amount of the IPO to $25 billion.
In December 1999,
Jack Ma and 17 other founders released their first
online marketplace, named "Alibaba Online". From 1999 to 2000, Alibaba
Group raised a total of US$25 Million from SoftBank, Goldman
Sachs, Fidelity and some other institutions.
In December 2001, Alibaba.com achieved profitability. In May 2003,
Taobao was founded as a consumer e-commerce platform. In December
2004, Alipay, which started as a service on the
became a separate business. In October 2005,
Alibaba Group took over
the operation of
Yahoo! as part of its strategic partnership
In November 2007, Alibaba.com successfully listed on the Hong Kong
Stock Exchange. In April 2008,
(Tmall.com), a retail website, to complement its C2C marketplace. In
Alibaba Group R&D Institute was established. In
December 2008, Alibaba.com Corporation announced that all Alibaba
group websites will be shark fin-free on 1 January 2009.
In 2009, global growth equity firm
General Atlantic invests $75M, led
by the firm's head of global internet and technology sector, Anton
Levy. In September 2009,
Alibaba Group established Alibaba
Cloud Computing in conjunction with its 10-year anniversary. In
Alibaba Group announced a plan to earmark 0.3% of its annual
revenues to fund environmental protection initiatives. In October
Taobao beta-launched eTao as a shopping search engine.
In June 2011,
Alibaba Group reorganised
Taobao into three separate
Taobao Mall (Tmall.com) and eTao. In
Alibaba Cloud Computing launched its first self-developed
mobile operating system,
Aliyun OS over K-Touch Cloud Smartphone.
In January 2012,
Tmall.com changed its Chinese name as part of a
rebranding exercise. In May 2012
Alibaba Group decides to reverse
course and take its publicly traded Alibaba.com private, delisting
Hong Kong stock exchange at close to 13.50
Hong Kong dollars
In September 2013, the company sought an IPO in the United States
after a deal could not be reached with
Hong Kong regulators.
Planning took over 12 months before the company's market début in
September 2014, with
Reuters Instrument Code "BABA.N". The pricing of
the IPO initially raised US$21.8 billion, which later
increased to US$25 billion, making it the largest IPO in
history. Buyers were actually purchasing shares in a Cayman
Islands shell corporation, not in the Alibaba group, as
foreign ownership of its companies.
In September 2013, Alibaba denies ditching HK for IPO after the Hong
Kong Exchange refuses to allow the company to list shares. The company
"sought to create a partnership structure that effectively would give
preferential treatment to one class of shareholders over another. Hong
Kong listing rules have long prohibited companies from issuing
dual-class shares with different voting rights." The proposal
would have allowed the company’s founder,
Jack Ma and his partners
to be able to nominate a majority of the members of the board and
retain control of the company even if it issued new shares.
In September 2013, Embroiled in somewhat of a controversy, Alibaba
Group denies abandoning
Hong Kong in favor of a U.S. IPO, because of
Hong Kong Exchange's refusal to allow a dual class share
structure. In March 2014, Alibaba group said it will begin the
process of filing for an initial public offering in the US Prior
to its IPO filing on Form F-1 as a foreign issuer in the US, Alibaba
undertook an aggressive acquisition spree – previously atypical for
the company – acquiring numerous majority and minority stakes in
companies including micro-blogging service Weibo,
Holdings, and car sharing service Lyft, as well as smart remote
app developer Peel Technologies. On 6 May 2014, Alibaba Group
filed registration documents to go public in the US in what may be one
of the biggest initial public offerings in American history. On 5
June 2014, Alibaba group agreed to take a 50 percent stake in
Guangzhou Evergrande Football Club, winners of the 2013 AFC Champions
League, for 1.2 billion yuan ($192 million). In June
2014, Alibaba acquired the Chinese mobile internet firm UCWeb. The
price of the purchase has not been disclosed but the company did claim
that the acquisition creates the biggest merger in the history of
China's internet sector.
Alibaba's consumer-to-consumer portal
Taobao and business-to-consumer
portal Tmall, each features nearly a billion products and both are
among the 20 most-visited websites globally. The Group's websites
accounted for over 60% of the parcels delivered in
China by March
2013, and 80% of the nation's online sales by September 2014.
Alipay, an online payment escrow service, accounts for roughly half of
all online payment transactions within China.
On 19 September 2014, Alibaba's shares (BABA) began trading on the
NYSE. On 2 February 2015, Alibaba announces that it has acquired a
$590m minority stake in the Chinese smartphone maker Meizu. On 30
Jack Ma met Prime Minister
Narendra Modi and discussed
Alibaba Group's plan to help small businesses in India. Alibaba
reported sales of $14.32 billion on China's
Singles' Day on 11
November 2015, up 60 percent from 2014. In November 2016, the
e-commerce giant Alibaba set
Singles Day records and generated 120.7
billion CNY (17.79 billion USD) in gross merchandise. Alibaba
entered India's e-commerce space with 25% stake in
One97. In August 2015,
Alibaba Group invested in Snapdeal.
In September 2015,
Alibaba Group along with
Ant Financial invested
about $680 Million in the Indian e-commerce company Paytm. On 11
December 2015, Alibaba buys South
China Morning Post and other media
SCMP Group for US$266 million. On 31 December 2015,
Alibaba buys 33 million shares of Groupon, corresponding to 5.6
percent stake. On 2 March 2016, Alibaba struck a deal with media
Sport and Entertainment to bring Ocean's non-gambling
game Match Poker to China. In April 2016, Alibaba announced that
it intended to acquire a controlling interest in the privately held
Lazada Group, the "Amazon of Southeast Asia", by paying $500 million
for new shares and buying $500M worth of shares from existing
On 9 June 2016, Alibaba officially unveiled the Roewe RX5, its first
"internet car" in collaboration with SAIC. The RX5 is available for
pre-order. It is priced upwards of RMB 148,800 (US$22,300) with
deliveries will be scheduled to start in August 2016. Ma believes
that "in the future that 80 percent of the car's functionality won’t
be related to transportation. The car will become a kind of robot you
communicate with on a daily basis." In a speech in Bangkok in
October 2016, Ma claimed that
Alibaba Group has created more than 30
million jobs in China. In a meeting between
Donald Trump and Jack
Ma at the beginning of January 2017 they discussed the creation of one
million jobs in the United States.
In February 2017, the company has been engaging and dealing with
counterfeit issues and accused agencies of filing fake counterfeit
In May 2017, Alibaba broke the US$300 billion value mark, after
Tencent achieved the feat. At the same period, Alibaba also
became one of the world's top 10 most valuable companies. It
reported sales growth forecast which topped every analyst's estimate,
while at the same time surpassing
Tencent to become Asia's most
In July 2017, Alibaba became the first Asian company to break the
US$400 billion value mark.
In August 2017, Alibaba-backed 58 Suyun will merge with Hong Kong's
GoGoVan, to create an Asia-based online logistics platform. Company
executives have stated that there are big plans for the merger to
become a global logistics corporation.
In September 2017, Alibaba’s
Ant Financial unveiled a facial
recognition technology that allows a customer to pay by flashing a
smile, through its
Alipay services. A 3D camera located at the
point-of-sale scans the customer’s face to verify their identity,
there's also a phone number verification option for additional
security. It also enters a partnership with
music-streaming rights sharing, the deal aims to protect licensed
streaming services offering copyrighted content of the music industry,
encouraging more high-quality and original music, as well as
developing China’s fast-growing streaming market. Alibaba will gain
the rights to stream music from international labels, which already
have exclusive deals with Tencent, in return for offering reciprocal
rights to its catalogue of Chinese and Japanese music. Alibaba
has become the official partner of New York Fashion Week, the
collaboration was done in association with one of China’s leading
fashion, lifestyle and entertainment management corporations Suntchi
and aims to connect international brands with Chinese consumers as
well as showcasing Chinese fashion designers to the world, as China's
influence on global fashion expands rapidly. Ant Financial
will be forming a joint venture with Sir Li Ka-shing's CK Hutchison
Holdings to bring a digital wallet service in Hong Kong. It has
also entered a cooperation with
JD.com to further develop China's
parcel delivery efficiency, investing US$330 million into its Chinese
merchandisers and logistics partners to build more facilities for
In October 2017, the company acquired EJoy and created a gaming
division to develop new games in-house to compete with Tencent. It
will also be building a robotic gas station in
Hangzhou by the end of
the month that will be unstaffed, relying on robotic arms to fill up
gas tanks. The gas station will be having a convenience store that
will be void of cashiers, and customers will be utilizing
the checkout gate.
In March 2018, Alibaba deepened ties with French automobile
manufacturer Renault. The expanded relationship came as a result of
Renault's desire to increase sales in Asian-Pacific regions, with a
heightened focus on sales in China.
Companies and affiliated entities
E-commerce and retail service platforms
In 2016, Alibaba's
Taobao and Tmall, two of the world's largest and
most popular online retail marketplaces, achieved a total transaction
volume of 3 trillion yuan (US$478.6 billion). The company aims to
double the transaction volume to 6 trillion yuan by 2020. As of
Taobao reached 580 million monthly active users, while
Tmall achieved 500 million monthly active users. It is
also rapidly expanding its e-commerce network abroad. Alibaba has
also announced that it will invest 100 billion yuan over five years to
build a global logistics network, underpinning an aggressive overseas
expansion, and demonstrating Alibaba's commitment to building the most
efficient logistics network in
China and around the world. It is
investing 5.3 billion yuan in Cainiao Smart Logistics Network to boost
its stake to 51 percent from 47 percent. The investment would
value Cainiao, a joint venture of top Chinese logistics firms, at
around US$20 billion.
Alibaba.com, the primary company of Alibaba, is as of 2014, the
world's largest online business-to-business trading platform for small
businesses. Founded in
Hangzhou in eastern China, Alibaba.com has
three main services. The company's English language portal Alibaba.com
handles sales between importers and exporters from more than 240
countries and regions. The Chinese portal 1688.com was developed
for domestic business-to-business trade in China. In addition,
Alibaba.com offers a transaction-based retail website, AliExpress.com,
which allows smaller buyers to buy small quantities of goods at
Alibaba.com went public at the
Hong Kong Stock Exchange
Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2007, and
was delisted again in 2012.
In 2013, 1688.com launched a direct channel that was responsible for
$30 million in daily transaction value.
Main article: AliExpress
Launched in 2010, AliExpress.com is an online retail service made up
of mostly small Chinese businesses offering products to international
online buyers. It is the most visited e-commerce website in
Russia. It allows small businesses in
China to sell to customers
all over the world, resulting in a wide variety of products. It might
be more accurate to compare
AliExpress to eBay, though, as sellers are
independent; it simply serves as a host for other businesses to sell
to consumers. Similar to eBay, sellers on Aliexpress can be either
companies or individuals. It connects directly Chinese businesses with
buyers. The main difference from
Taobao is that it´s aimed primarily
at international buyers. Mainly in USA, Russia, Brazil or Spain.
Main article: Taobao
Taobao Marketplace, or Taobao, as of 2013 was China's largest
consumer-to-consumer online shopping platform. Founded in 2003,
it offers a variety of products for retail sale. In January 2015 it
was the second most visited web site in China, according to
Alexa.com. Taobao's growth was attributed to offering free
registration and commission-free transactions using a free third-party
Advertising makes up 85 percent of the company's total revenue,
allowing it to break even in 2009. Taobao's 2010 profit was estimated
to be 1.5 billion yuan (US$235.7 million), only about 0.4
percent of their total sales figure of 400 billion yuan
(US$62.9 billion) that year, way below the industry average of 2
percent, according to iResearch estimates.
According to Zhang Yu, the director of Taobao, between 2011 and 2013
the number of stores on
Taobao with annual sales under
100 thousand yuan increased by 60%; the number of stores with
sales between 10 thousand and 1 million yuan increased by
30%; and the number of stores with sales over 1 million yuan
increased by 33%.
Also, there are other parts of Taobao.
Tmall.com was introduced in
April 2008 as an online retail platform to complement the Taobao
consumer-to-consumer portal and became a separate business in June
2011. As of October 2013 it was the eighth most visited web site in
China, offering global brands to an increasingly affluent Chinese
consumer base. In addition, there is Juhuasuan, a group shopping
website in China. It was launched by
Taobao in March 2010 and became a
separate business in October 2011. Juhuasuan offers "flash sales",
products that are available only for a fixed time period, which can
last from one or two days to a full month. To buy at the discounted
price, buyers must purchase the item within that defined time. Plus,
Taobao launched a service known as eTao. eTao was beta-launched by
Taobao in October 2010 as a comparison shopping website, and became a
separate business in June 2011. It offers search results from most
Chinese online shopping platforms, including product searches,
sales and coupon searches. Online shoppers can use the site to compare
prices from different sellers and identify products to buy. According
Alibaba Group web site, eTao offers products from Amazon China,
Dangdang, Gome, Yihaodian, Nike
China and Vancl, as well as
Fliggy (formerly Alitrip) is an online travel platform, which is
designed as an online mall for brands such as airline companies and
agencies. The slogan of 'Fliggy Corporate' is 'The piggy
that flies' and 'Travelling is just like being a pig - we eat, sleep
and have fun.' This platform was launched in late October 2016. Fliggy
set the target audience as younger generation and it strives to become
a one-stop service when they plan their trips, particularly in
On August 7, 2017,
Alibaba Group and Marriott
group announced a comprehensive strategic co-operation. Two companies
will set up a joint venture company. Trough the docking technology
system and the superiority resources, Fliggy has Marriott hotel
flagship store. It has the same function with Marriott Chinese website
and Marriott mobile app to create the best global travel experience
Main article: Lazada Group
Lazada Group is a Singaporean e-commerce company founded by Rocket
Internet in 2011. Lazada operates sites in Indonesia, Malaysia, the
Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Its sites launched in
March 2012, with a business model of selling inventory to customers
from its own warehouses. In 2013 it added a marketplace model that
allowed third-party retailers to sell their products through Lazada's
site. Lazada features a wide product offering in categories ranging
from consumer electronics to household goods, toys, fashion and sports
equipment. In April 2016,
Alibaba Group announced that it intended to
acquire a controlling interest in Lazada by paying $500 million for
new shares and buying $500M worth of shares from existing
investors. In March 2018, Alibaba announced its plan to invest an
additional $2 billion in the company, totaling a $4 billion
investment. Alibaba also plans to appoint Alibaba co-founder Lucy Peng
as Lazada's new CEO.
On 11 June 2014, Alibaba launched US shopping site 11 Main. The 11
Main marketplace hosts more than 1,000 merchants in categories such as
clothing, fashion accessories and jewellery as well as interior goods
and arts and crafts and it plans to keep adding more, said the
company. On 23 June 2015, Alibaba announced that it is
selling 11 Main to OpenSky, an online-marketplace operator based in
Alibaba Cloud (Aliyun)
Main article: Alibaba Cloud
Alibaba Cloud aims to build a cloud computing service platform,
including e-commerce data mining, e-commerce data processing, and data
customisation. It was established in September 2009 in conjunction
with the 10th anniversary of Alibaba Group. It has R&D centres
and operators in Hangzhou, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Silicon
Valley and Dubai. In July 2014,
Alibaba Cloud entered into a
partnership deal with Inspur.
Alibaba Cloud is the largest high-end
cloud computing company in China. In 2009, Alibaba acquired
HiChina, the largest domain registration service and web hosting
service company in China, and built it into Alibaba Cloud.
Fintech and online payment platforms
Main article: Alipay
Launched in 2004,
Alipay is a third-party online payment platform with
no transaction fees. It also provides an escrow service, in which
buyers can verify whether they are happy with goods they have bought
before releasing money to the seller. In addition, Ant Financial,
another Alibaba company, has operated
Alipay payments services since
Alibaba Group spun off
Alipay in 2010 in a controversial
move. According to analyst research report,
Alipay has the
biggest market share in
China with 300 million users and control
of just under half of China's online payment market in February
2014. In 2013,
Alipay launched a financial product platform
called Yu'ebao (余额宝). In 2015, Alibaba announced that they
will introduce a system that can be paid by recognizing the owner's
face. One of the critical success factors for Alibaba is its
quick and reliable payment system. Alibaba offers several types of
payment systems, including credit card, debit card, Alipay, Quick-pay,
and online banking. These payment systems help to cope with
simultaneous cash flow transactions with ease and convenience.
Ant Financial was ranked sixth in Fortune's Change
the World list, recognised for the positive green environmental impact
of its Ant Forest, the world's largest platform for tracking
individuals' carbon footprints.
Ant Financial and its partners have
achieved considerable success in the reduction of CO2
Alibaba created a new live entertainment business unit under its
Digital Media and Entertainment Group which focuses on ticketing,
content creation and live experiences, bringing its entertainment
ticketing platform Damai and its content creation and technology units
MaiLive and Maizuo under one roof. It aims to provide a platform for
live events (e.g. concerts, plays, eSports and sports events), as well
as supporting content partners and leveraging Alibaba’s data
capability for offline shows. It also provides an online
digital distribution service 9Apps, which hosts the huge amount of
content and applications for downloads.
AliMusic was launched in March 2015, and it is the music division of
the Alibaba Group. Xiami Music and Tiantian Music are two of music
steaming APP owned by AliMusic. AliMusic named
Gao Xiaosong as the
chairman and Song Ke as Chief Executive Officer in July 2015.
Tencent Music has expected $10bn IPO by signing a rights deal
with Alibaba, strengthening its position within the important Chinese
market. Under the terms of the deal Alibaba will gain the right to
stream music from international labels such as Sony Music, Universal
Music Group and YG Entertainment, which already have exclusive deals
with Tencent, in return for offering to its catalogue from Rock
International Music and so on.
Main article: Alibaba Pictures
In March 2014, Alibaba agreed to acquire a controlling stake in
ChinaVision Media Group for $804 million. The two firms announced
they would establish a strategic committee for potential future
opportunities in online entertainment and other media areas. The
company was renamed
Alibaba Pictures Group.
In April 2014, Alibaba and Yunfeng Capital, a private equity company
controlled by Alibaba's founder, Jack Ma, agreed to acquire a combined
18.5 percent stake in
Youku Tudou, which broadcasts a series of
popular television programs and other videos over the Internet.
In 2004, the company released its own instant messaging software
service Aliwangwang for interactions between customer and online
sellers. By 2014 Aliwangwang user has reached 50 million, making it
the second largest instant messaging tool in China.
AliHealth was launched in 2014 when Alibaba and Yunfeng Capital, a
private equity firm, bought a 54% stake in Citic 21CN. It is listed in
Hong Kong Stock as SEHK: 0241. It positions itself as a
pharmaceutical e-commerce business and medical services. In April
2015, the group also reached an agreement to transfer its online B2C
Tmall Medical (yao.Tmall.com), to AliHealth. The integration
provides consumers a wide range of pharmaceutical and health products
available in China.
Alibaba's sports division, Alisports, based in Shanghai, was
established in 2015 after a consolidation of some of the parent
company's existing business units. The new company's operations
encompass television and digital sports rights, event operation, venue
commercialization, copyright, media, business development, gaming, and
Alisports secured exclusive title sponsorship of the FIFA Club World
Cup from 2015 to 2022. The company announced a Champion of
Champions rugby sevens tournament in 2017, to be played in Shanghai
for the highest prize money ever offered in the sport.
AutoNavi is a Chinese map supplier. It was acquired by Alibaba in
China was launched on September 24, 1999. In October 2005,
Alibaba Group formed a strategic partnership with
Yahoo! and acquired
Yahoo! (www.yahoo.com.cn), a Chinese portal that focuses on
Internet services like news, email, and search. In April 2013, Alibaba
Group announced that, as part of the agreement to buy back the Yahoo!
Mail stake, technological support for
Yahoo! Mail service would
be suspended and the
Yahoo! Mail account migration would begin.
Several options were offered to users to make the transition as smooth
as possible, and
Yahoo! users had four months to migrate their
accounts to the Aliyun mail service, the
Yahoo! Mail service in the
United States, or to another third-party e-mail provider of the user's
China closed its mail service on 19 August 2013.
E-mails sent to
China accounts could be forwarded to an Alimail
box until 31 December 2014. Users were also allowed to transfer e-mail
accounts to yahoo.com or any other e-mail service. It is estimated
there are no more than a million users with
Yahoo! Mail for
chances are they also own other e-mail accounts.
In October 2013, the company's chairman
Jack Ma announced that the
company would no longer use Tencent's messaging application WeChat,
and would henceforth promote its own messaging application and
China Morning Post
Main article: South
China Morning Post
In December 2015, Alibaba agreed to a deal to acquire the South China
Morning Post and other media assets belonging to the group for a
consideration of $266 million. Although Alibaba promised
editorial independence, vice-chairman
Joseph Tsai said that Alibaba
believes that "the world needs a plurality of views when it comes to
China coverage. China's rise as an economic power and its importance
to world stability is too important for there to be a singular
thesis." The acquisition attracted media concerns over what this
would mean for the newspaper’s coverage.
Main article: UCWeb
UCWeb is a Chinese leading provider of mobile internet software
technology and services. Since its inception in 2004, UCWeb's mission
has been to provide better mobile internet experience to billions of
users around the world. Its international product portfolio includes a
mobile browsing service (UC Browser), app and game distribution
platforms (9Apps and 9Game), a mobile traffic platform (UC Union) and
UC News that primarily caters to all types of news in the
(as an aggregator) among others.
Ali Venture Capital
Hangzhou Ali Venture Capital (Chinese: 杭州阿里创业投资) was a
company 80% owned by
Jack Ma and another manager of Alibaba. For
Alibaba Group did not own the company directly,
but by pleading. It was considered as a subsidiary and/or consolidated
entity of Alibaba Group. Ali Venture Capital was a shareholder of
Beijing Enlight Media as well as the A share of China
Jack Ma was Alibaba Group's chief executive officer for its first 10
years, but stepped down as CEO on 10 May 2013, becoming executive
Jonathan Lu became the company's new CEO. On
10 May 2015
Daniel Zhang replaced Lu as CEO.
Gold Supplier membership
Alibaba.com offers a paid Gold Supplier membership to try to ensure
that each seller is genuine; sellers' Gold Supplier status and the
number of years it has been held are displayed. The supplier
verification types and checks are listed on Alibaba.com's website,
with more stringent checks for sellers outside China. While the
majority of suppliers are reported to be genuine,
there have been many cases of sellers, some with Gold Supplier status,
seeking to defraud unsuspecting buyers. In February 2011,
controversy ensued when Alibaba's corporate office admitted that it
had granted the mark of integrity of its "
China Gold Supplier" program
to more than 2,000 dealers that had subsequently defrauded buyers; the
firm's share price dropped "abruptly" after the announcement. A
statement from the firm reported that Yan Limin, the general manager
of Alibaba.com at the time, had been dismissed in March for
"misconduct"; Phil Muncaster of UK's
The Register additionally
reported that "a further 28 employees had been involved in dodgy
As the Economist noted, the company's response has conflicting
components: Alibaba's promulgated view that its corrective actions
indicate its commitment to quality and integrity (where it contrasts
itself with 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
global buyers to choose Alibaba as their business-to-business service,
thus more broadly endangering Alibaba through impact on its brand and
capabilities (the latter via the "defenestration of senior
people"). The scandal is said to have placed the head of Alibaba
Group, Jack Ma—who is described as having been furious over the
scandal—in a position to personally fight to win back trust.
In May 2012, a US law enforcement agent posing as an American broker
representing persons in
Iran posted an advertisement on Alibaba.com
seeking to purchase uranium. In August 2013, Patrick Campbell of
Sierra Leone was arrested at New York's John F. Kennedy International
Airport. Samples of raw uranium ore were allegedly found concealed in
the soles of his shoes. Campbell was accused of seeking to arrange the
export of 1,000 tonnes of yellowcake from
Sierra Leone to the Iranian
port of Bandar Abbas, packed in drums and disguised as the mineral
chromite. It was later determined that the samples contained an
insignificant amount of uranium, and Campbell was acquitted at
Counterfeit items and scams
Alibaba is frequently associated with fraudulent import of counterfeit
items: in 2016, the U.S. Office of the Trade Representative added
Taobao back onto a list of notorious counterfeit platforms that
includes the likes of torrent site The Pirate Bay.
AliExpress is even more controversial: despite claiming to
provide buyer protection, it frequently refuses to reimburse customers
when goods are seized by customs or when sellers who establish fake
business entities vanish after their scam. Several hundred
lawsuits and class actions have been filed in the US.
Alibaba denied wrongdoing and started timid action against
counterfeiters with only 2 lawsuits filed as of January 4, 2017,
but brands suffering from the counterfeit products continue to blame
Alibaba for not doing what it takes to fight the issue.
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