E Commerce has truly been a blessing in the digital age, insofar as it allows practically anyone to buy practically anything from anywhere in the world without ever leaving the comfort of their own home. While everyone knows about sites like Amazon and eBay, an up and comer called Alibaba is starting to make noise too. Perhaps you’ve even heard of it. However, it makes sense to learn more before spending any of your own money.

The World’s Largest Online Property

In many ways, it’s fair to call Alibaba the world’s large ecommerce platform, which makes it all the more interesting that more people haven’t heard of it before. It’s actually comprised of three different sites: Alibaba.com, Tmall and Taobao. However, there are others as well.

Hundreds of millions of people use Alibaba and the site hosts millions of different businesses and merchants. Without a doubt, Alibaba handles more business than any other online company on the planet.

They’re also the fastest growing, which is incredibly given how big they already are. On top of that, their growth is all the more impressive when you appreciate that they continue to expand in a market that is also the fastest growing at the moment.

Last year, Alibaba accounted for $248 billion worth of transactions. That rivals what Amazon and eBay put together combined. This means Alibaba makes up 80% of China’s total online shopping.

IPO

Cementing Alibaba’s spot as a dominant force in the world’s ecommerce market was their recent US IPO. The company raised $25 billion, proving why it’s one of the most valuable public companies in China. It would hold that same rank, though, in any country in the world. In China, however, this number puts it right next to some of the country’s state owned businesses that benefit from obvious advantages.

Compared to tech firms, Alibaba is still a force to be reckoned with. Its total worth of $215 billion puts it forth in the world behind Microsoft, Google and then Apple at number one.

Taobao

Taobao is the biggest shopping site under the Alibaba umbrella. It’s home to well over seven million different merchants. These vendors sell everything from leather jackets to underwear to furniture and decorations. Users don’t actually pay for their spot on the site, but they can pay extra to have ads put up that will help it stand out from their competitors.

Jack Ma

China’s answer to Steve Jobs may very well be a man named Jack Ma. He started Alibaba and is very much an eccentric in his own right. Although he stepped down as CEO, he still has plenty of clout and is among the company’s top brass who can nominate over half of the members on Alibaba’s board.

It’s said that when the company needs innovation, they go to Ma. When he needs inspiration, he returns to his old apartment and gets to thinking. Then it comes.

Expect to see even more of Alibaba in the future. As we mentioned, the company shows no signs of slowing down, which means it’s going to get huge.