Alibaba, established in 1999 by Jack Ma (a former English teacher), is a Hangzhou-based Internet-based e-commerce business that includes business-to-business online web portals, online retail and payment services, a shopping search engine and data-centric cloud computing services. Although it is largely unknown outside China, it has developed into one of the largest global players in the Internet sector as China contains a huge number of Internet users. About 90 percent of sales on Alibaba are conducted by Chinese Internet users. By 2016, China’s Internet population is expected to reach 730 million. The main aim of Alibaba’s business model is to connect Chinese manufacturers to buyers abroad.

In the second quarter of 2014, Alibaba recorded revenue of USD $2.5 billion and net profit of USD $2.0 billion.

It is interesting to compare Alibaba’s market capitalization (about USD $162.7 billion) with total market capitalization on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX), which contains 492 listed companies. Alibaba’s market cap is equal to 38 percent of the IDX’ total market cap; a figure that illustrates the sheer size of Alibaba.

World's Five Largest IPOs:

Company Value
Alibaba USD $24.3 billion¹
Agriculture Bank of China USD $22.1 billion
Industrial & Commercial Bank of China USD $21.9 billion
AIA Group Ltd USD $20.5 billion
Visa USD $19.7 billion

¹ indicates prognosis

World's Five Largest Internet Firms by Market Cap:

Company Value
Google USD $400 billion
Facebook USD $201 billion
Alibaba USD $162 billion
Amazon USD $160 billion
Ebay USD $67 billion

Various sources


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The Internet company Yahoo! owns more than 22% of Alibaba and Japan's Softbank holds 34% of Alibaba..

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Yahoo! bought a 40 percent stake in Alibaba in 2005 for $ 1 billion, and still holds 22.4 percent..