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China’s Internet Giant -- Alibaba
Alibaba, is not just a mythical fairytale of riches, today is better known as a China-based internet giant, processing more sales than Amazon and eBay combined. Alibaba has become the nexus for online commerce in the world's second-largest economy and connects 7 million retailers to customers across China. The company’s upcoming IPO is expected to dwarf Facebook’s IPO and come in at around 200 billion. At that range, the company would rank behind only Google among the most valuable Internet companies, eclipsing Amazon.com and Facebook.
Jack Ma, founded the company, starting with China Yellow pages which is believed to be China’s first Internet-based company. Ma first started building websites for Chinese companies with the help of friends in the US. He has said that "the day we got connected to the Web, I invited friends and TV people over to my house," and on a very slow dial-up connection, "we waited three and a half hours and got half a page.... We drank, watched TV and played cards, waiting. But I was so proud. I proved (to my house guests that) the Internet existed."
He founded Alibaba.com in 1999, a China-based business-to-business marketplace site which currently serves more than 79 million members from more than 240 countries and territories. Ma now serves as Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, which is a holding company with nine major subsidiaries; Alibaba.com, Taobao Marketplace, Tmall, eTao, Alibaba Cloud Computing, Juhuasuan, 1688.com, AliExpress.com, and Alipay. In November 2012, Alibaba online transaction volume exceeded one trillion yuan. Ma was thus labeled "trillion Hou", literally meaning Marquis of trillion Yuans in Chinese. He has been named by TIME magazine as one of the Most 100 Influential People in the World.
Alibaba, was founded 15 years ago, has a stranglehold on the e-commerce business in China, and its online shopping sites account for about 80% of the industry. Jack Ma, at the helm of the Alibaba companies, is purchasing a 1.22 billion dollar stake in Youku Tudou, the equivalent of China’s You Tube.
Jack Ma: http://upstart.bizjournals.com/entrepreneurs/hot-shots/2013/09/25/meet-jack-ma-things-to-know-about.html
For more on the IPO: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/apr/21/alibaba-group-faces-nyse-listing
Purchase of YouKu Tudou: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-28/alibaba-to-lead-1-22-billion-stake-in-youku-tudou.html
Sources: Wall Street Journal; Wikipedia, Forbes, China Hush,