Company Profile
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Marketcap Sector Stock Symbol
$221.75 B Tech BABA
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Name Alibaba Group Holding Limited
Founded April 4, 1999
# of Employees 252,071 (2021)
Sector E-commerce, Retail, Technology
Main Products Online marketplaces, cloud computing, digital entertainment, logistics
Revenue US$109.5 billion (2020)
Headquarters Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
Countries Operates in over 200 countries and regions


Alibaba Group Holding Limited, commonly known as Alibaba, was founded on April 4, 1999, by Jack Ma and a group of 17 friends and students. The company was established in Hangzhou, China, with the aim of creating a platform for small and medium-sized enterprises to conduct international trade. The name “Alibaba” was chosen because it is easy to spell, and it can be easily understood in international settings.

Initially, Alibaba operated as a business-to-business (B2B) online marketplace, connecting Chinese manufacturers with overseas buyers. As the company grew, it expanded its services to include business-to-consumer (B2C) and consumer-to-consumer (C2C) online marketplaces, cloud computing, digital entertainment, and logistics, among others. Today, Alibaba has become one of the largest and most valuable internet companies in the world.


Jack Ma

Jack Ma, also known as Ma Yun, is a Chinese entrepreneur and philanthropist. Born on September 10, 1964, in Hangzhou, China, Ma co-founded Alibaba and served as the company’s executive chairman until September 2019. He was instrumental in shaping Alibaba’s vision and strategy, positioning it as a global leader in e-commerce and technology.

Prior to founding Alibaba, Ma worked as an English teacher and struggled to find employment in his early years. His vision for Alibaba was to level the playing field for small businesses and empower entrepreneurs to thrive in the digital economy. Ma’s leadership and entrepreneurial spirit have earned him numerous accolades and recognition as one of the most influential business leaders in the world.

The 17 Founders

In addition to Jack Ma, Alibaba was co-founded by a group of 17 friends and students from various backgrounds. These co-founders played a crucial role in the early development and growth of the company, contributing their expertise in technology, finance, and business management. Together, they shared a common vision of transforming the way business is conducted in China and beyond.


Alibaba’s headquarters is located in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China. The company’s corporate campus, known as Alibaba Campus, covers a vast area and reflects the company’s commitment to innovation and sustainability. The campus features modern architecture, state-of-the-art facilities, and green spaces, providing an inspiring environment for employees and visitors alike.

Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province, is known for its picturesque scenery, rich cultural heritage, and thriving tech industry. Alibaba’s choice of headquarters reflects its close ties to the local community and its ambition to drive economic growth in the region. The location also strategically positions the company to access the resources and talent pool available in Hangzhou and surrounding areas.


Alibaba Group Holding Limited, more commonly known as Alibaba, is a Chinese multinational conglomerate specializing in e-commerce, retail, internet and technology. Founded in 1999 by Jack Ma and a group of 17 friends, Alibaba has grown to become one of the world’s largest and most valuable companies. The company’s headquarters are located in Hangzhou, China, and it operates numerous subsidiaries and business units across various industries.

Alibaba’s operations can be categorized into three main segments: core commerce, cloud computing, and digital media and entertainment. The core commerce segment includes the company’s flagship e-commerce platforms, such as Taobao, Tmall, and, which connect buyers and sellers in consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer, and business-to-business marketplaces. The cloud computing segment, operated under the Alibaba Cloud brand, offers a wide range of cloud infrastructure and services to businesses and developers around the world. The digital media and entertainment segment includes Alibaba’s various investments and initiatives in the entertainment industry, including digital entertainment, film and television production, and sports.

In addition to its core business segments, Alibaba also has a significant presence in areas such as logistics, finance, and local services. The company’s logistics affiliate, Cainiao Network, provides comprehensive logistics services to support the delivery of goods purchased through Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms. Alibaba’s finance unit, Ant Group, offers a wide range of financial services, including payment processing, wealth management, and insurance. Furthermore, Alibaba has investments in various local services businesses, such as food delivery and online-to-offline (O2O) commerce.

Alibaba’s operations are characterized by its relentless focus on innovation, customer-centric approach, and commitment to driving the digital transformation of various industries. The company’s core values, as articulated by its founder Jack Ma, include a dedication to customer success, fostering an entrepreneurial spirit, and embracing change and innovation. Alibaba’s operations are also guided by a long-term vision to enable small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access the global market and to transform traditional industries through technology.


Alibaba offers a wide range of products and services through its various platforms and subsidiaries, catering to the diverse needs of consumers, businesses, and developers. The company’s core e-commerce platforms, including Taobao, Tmall, and, provide a vast selection of products across categories such as apparel, electronics, home goods, and more. These platforms facilitate transactions between millions of buyers and sellers and offer various features such as live streaming, social commerce, and virtual reality shopping experiences.

Alibaba’s cloud computing business, operated under the Alibaba Cloud brand, offers a comprehensive suite of cloud infrastructure and services, including elastic computing, storage, databases, networking, security, and more. These services enable businesses and developers to build, deploy, and scale applications and services on the cloud, supporting a wide range of use cases from e-commerce and gaming to artificial intelligence and data analytics.

In the digital media and entertainment space, Alibaba has investments in various content production and distribution businesses, including film and television production, video streaming, and sports. The company’s entertainment platforms, such as Youku and Alibaba Pictures, provide a diverse array of digital content for users in China and beyond, ranging from dramas and variety shows to sports events and live performances.

Alibaba’s logistics affiliate, Cainiao Network, provides end-to-end logistics services, including warehousing, transportation, and delivery, to support the global supply chain of goods purchased through Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms. The company’s finance unit, Ant Group, offers a wide range of financial services, including AliPay, the leading digital payment platform in China, as well as wealth management, insurance, and credit services.

Alibaba’s diverse portfolio of products and services reflects its commitment to providing value to customers and driving the digital transformation of various industries. The company’s products are known for their quality, reliability, and innovation, and they have gained widespread adoption among customers, businesses, and developers worldwide.

Relevance in the Field

Alibaba is widely recognized as a global leader in e-commerce, retail, internet, and technology, with a significant impact on various industries and the broader digital economy. The company’s e-commerce platforms, including Taobao and Tmall, are among the largest and most popular online marketplaces in the world, connecting millions of buyers and sellers and driving significant volumes of transactions across a wide range of product categories.

In addition to its e-commerce dominance, Alibaba has emerged as a major player in cloud computing, with Alibaba Cloud becoming one of the leading cloud providers globally. The company’s investments in digital media and entertainment, logistics, finance, and local services further demonstrate its influence across multiple sectors of the economy.

Alibaba’s relevance in the field is also evidenced by its significant financial and market performance. The company’s market capitalization has consistently placed it among the most valuable companies in the world, and its revenue and profit growth have been robust over the years. Alibaba’s ability to sustain high levels of innovation and investment in R&D has also been a key driver of its relevance and impact in the industry.

Furthermore, Alibaba’s global reach and expansion efforts have led to its influence in international markets, particularly in regions such as Southeast Asia, India, and Europe. The company’s partnerships and collaborations with local businesses, governments, and organizations have contributed to its relevance and impact on a global scale.

Alibaba’s leadership in the field is also exemplified by its commitment to sustainability and corporate social responsibility. The company has undertaken various initiatives to promote environmental conservation, inclusivity, and community development, demonstrating its commitment to making a positive impact beyond just financial performance.


Alibaba’s success and impact in the industry can be attributed to several key insights that have guided the company’s strategy and operations. One of the most critical insights is the power of digital technology and the internet to transform traditional industries and create new opportunities for businesses and consumers. Alibaba recognized early on the potential of e-commerce, cloud computing, and digital media to revolutionize how people buy, sell, and interact with goods and services, and it has invested heavily in leveraging these insights to drive its growth and success.

Another important insight that has driven Alibaba’s strategy is the significance of globalization and cross-border trade. The company’s focus on enabling SMEs to access global markets and its emphasis on international expansion have been key components of its success. Alibaba has leveraged its e-commerce platforms, logistics network, and financial services to facilitate trade between different countries and regions, creating significant value for businesses and consumers worldwide.

Furthermore, Alibaba’s focus on innovation and customer-centricity has been a crucial insight that has shaped its product development and strategy. The company has consistently invested in R&D, technology, and talent to drive innovation across its various businesses, and it has prioritized the needs and experiences of its customers in designing and delivering its products and services.

Lastly, Alibaba’s insight into the importance of partnerships, collaborations, and corporate social responsibility has been fundamental to its success. The company has cultivated strong relationships with various stakeholders, including businesses, governments, and communities, and it has recognized the importance of giving back and making a positive impact beyond just financial performance.

Overall, Alibaba’s success and impact in the industry are a result of its ability to leverage key insights and navigate the complexities of the digital economy to drive growth, innovation, and positive change.

In conclusion, Alibaba’s dynamic operations, diverse products and services, relevance in the industry, and key insights have positioned it as a global leader in e-commerce, retail, internet, and technology. The company’s continued focus on innovation, customer-centricity, globalization, and partnerships, combined with its commitment to sustainability and corporate social responsibility, will likely drive its future success and impact in the industry. As Alibaba continues to expand and adapt to the evolving digital landscape, it will remain a force to be reckoned with and a significant driver of change and growth in the global economy.

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