The history of Alibaba from the very beginning to the present day. Learn how the Alibaba brand was created and developed and what it is known for today.

1. Alibaba success story
2. Interesting facts about Alibaba


Alibaba is a Chinese e-commerce company. The company owns world-famous marketplaces – AliExpress, Taobao, Tmall, and many others. Alibaba Group has two types of activities - B2B trading and maintenance of retail sites.

The company's management team includes Jack Ma - founder and CEO until 2013), Maggie Wu (head of the board of directors), Michael Evans (head of the company).

Alibaba success story

The company was founded in 1999 by Jack Ma and his associates. The work began in an ordinary apartment, which was the office of the company for the first years.

Initially, the online store was created, it was planned as a platform where small and medium-sized businesses could trade. After the launch of the online store, the Alibaba Group itself was created. Things weren't going well for the friends until, in late 1999, Jack Ma managed to attract investors who invested $25 million. The project managed not only to survive, but also to continue to develop.

Alibaba Marketplace

In 2002, the Alibaba online store began to generate income - sales commissions covered the costs of maintaining and constantly improving the site. With over 1 million users, the company decided to expand its business. So in 2003, the TaoBao auction was launched, in 2004 the Alipay payment service, as well as the Tmall platform. Later, seeing the success of these sites, the idea of creating Aliexpress appeared.

Jack Ma sought to get at least a large part of it in the Chinese market, and as a maximum, the entire market, since at that time the already world-famous eBay marketplace announced its immediate plans to move into the Asian market. To increase its competitiveness, Alibaba allowed sellers to register on their sites for free.

eBay, seeing a serious competitor in Alibaba, bought EachNet - at that time it was one of the significant players in the Chinese e-commerce market. Thanks to the acquisition of EachNet, eBay took almost 85% of the market. At first glance, it looked like eBay had finally taken the lead, but that was not the case.

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In 2004, the Alibaba Group launched the Alipay service, causing serious damage to eBay's business. Online payments were banned in China, but the entrepreneur developed such a service anyway and released it in support of his platforms. The PRC government not only did not interfere, but also supported Jack Ma. In addition to the main function, the Alipay service protected buyers' money from scammers. At the same time, the Taobao platform released a number of new and useful options, for example, its own messenger, which greatly simplified the discussion and the purchase itself.

In 2005 Yahoo! acquired a 43% stake in Alibaba, in the future the company will buy back half of the shares.

In 2009, a subsidiary of Alibaba Cloud was launched. It was one of the largest cloud services, which was used both for the needs of their sites and for selling capacities to other companies.

In 2010, Alibaba Group launched the world famous AliExpress marketplace. Initially, buyers from all over the world could only purchase goods from Chinese sellers, but later this policy was revised, today sellers from other countries also sell here.

AliExpress Marketplace

At the beginning of 2011, more than 65 million sellers from 240 countries registered on all Alibaba sites. In the same year, it was decided to split Taobao into Taobao Marketplace and Tmall.

In 2013, it was planned to open stationary retail outlets in the Wanda Plaza shopping center from the Wanda Group. But later, this idea had to be abandoned. In the same year, Alibaba, together with 8 other companies, established the logistics enterprise Cainiao.

At the end of 2014, Alipay was transformed into Ant Financial, which, in addition to Alipay, included the Alipay Wallet electronic wallet, and a number of other financial platforms. In the same year, the company's shares rose in price, which eventually brought her income of $21.8 billion, later this amount increased to $25 billion.

At the beginning of 2018, due to the growth of shares, the company's value exceeded $500 billion. In the same year, the company acquired a food delivery service. Also in the same year, the company's management announced the launch of a project to create unmanned vehicles that will meet the 4th level of autonomous traffic safety. To support the company, the PRC authorities at the legislative level have fixed the regulation of the process of production and testing of unmanned vehicles.

At the end of 2020, Jack Ma was critical of the Chinese financial system and advocated reforming it. The Chinese leadership did not like this. Thus began the conflict between Alibaba and the Chinese authorities, which had certain consequences for the company. So in early 2021, the state fined the company 18.228 billion yuan (approximately $2.79 billion). for monopolistic behavior. Then there were other conflicts that resulted in large financial losses.

In just a year and a half of confrontation with the state, $344 billion of market capitalization was lost. Subsequently, the company's relations with the authorities improved.

Interesting facts about Alibaba

  • Alibaba Group invests heavily in various projects aimed at protecting the environment, and not only in China;
  • As of the end of 2021, the company has more than 95 thousand employees. This is far more than Yahoo and Facebook combined;
  • Jack Ma's extraordinary approach to doing business is the key to the success of the company. He did not copy the behavior of his competitors in the market, but acted radically differently;
  • At the initial stage of the company's creation, only 4 out of 17 people understood IT. Jack Ma, focused on the middle class of the population, who was just mastering the Internet, rejected about 90% of the developments offered to him. The main reason is that if he did not understand, then other users who do not understand IT will not understand either.

To date, the company has about 700 subsidiaries located in China and 520 companies in other countries.


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