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March 24, 2017

What is Alibaba?

Cloud computing, Alipay and Youku Tudou - there is much more to Alibaba than ecommerce.

By Ellie Burns

Alibaba, known formally as Alibaba Group Holding Limited, is a Chinese e-commerce company which specialises in C2C, B2C and B2B sales services via web portals.

In addition to these services, Alibaba also provides e-payment services, a shopping search engine and cloud computing.

Jack Ma initially established the company as a B2B portal connecting Chinese and overseas manufacturers, with the company then expanding rapidly into different markets. This rapid expansion and success led to Alibaba seeking an IPO on the NYSE. To date, the resulting $25 billion IPO was the biggest US IPO in history.

What is Alibaba’s biggest platform?

Alibaba’s biggest platform is, the world’s largest B2B trading platform for small businesses. The company’s C2C shopping platform is the Taobao Marketplace and was founded in 2003. Other notable Alibaba services include Alipay, a third-party online payment platform, and Youku Tudou, which is one of China’s biggest video sites.

In September 2009, Alibaba Cloud Computing,, was launched in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the Alibaba Group. Now the largest high-end cloud computing company in China, the service aims to provide an integrated suite of cloud products and services.


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