Alibaba launches US shop

2014-06-11 20:20
Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma  (Shutterstock)

Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma (Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Beijing - Chinese Internet giant Alibaba, which combines aspects of eBay, Amazon and PayPal, launched a US shopping website, 11 Main, on Wednesday - its latest move ahead of a widely anticipated IPO.

Alibaba has filed documents for a US stock listing, expected to be one of the largest offerings in history.

Here is a fact-file about the e-commerce titan, founded by Chinese entrepreneur Jack Ma.

FOUNDING: Alibaba Group was founded in 1999 by 18 people led by Jack Ma.

WHY ALIBABA?: Ma chose the name because it is "easily pronounced in practically all languages" and because the "open sesame" catchphrase from 1 001 Nights signifies that the company's platforms "open a doorway to fortune for small businesses", the company's website says.

SIZE: A total of 20 000 people are employed by Alibaba, which has its headquarters in Hangzhou, Ma's home town in China's eastern province of Zhejiang. The company has 73 offices in mainland China and 16 overseas.

COMPONENTS:, China's most popular online consumer marketplace, and, a website for business-to-consumer transactions, are among several online platforms which operate within the Alibaba structure. It also has a payment unit, Alipay, which is not included within the IPO vehicle.

CUSTOMERS: Taobao has more than 800 million product listings and over 500 million registered users. It is estimated to have more than 90% of China's online consumer-to-consumer market.

THE MARKET: China's online shoppers spent nearly $200bn in 2012, up 66.5% from the previous year, the semi-official China Internet Network Information Centre said in an April 2013 report.

Its launch of an American shopping site, 11 Main, potentially opens the door to a far wider global audience.

ACQUISITIONS: Alibaba has been on a deal-making frenzy ahead of its planned multi-billion dollar share offer in the United States.

Its purchase of Chinese mobile browser developer UCWeb for an undisclosed sum comes after it paid $192m for a 50% stake in top Chinese football club Evergrande earlier in June.

In May, it paid $249m for a stake in Singapore postal service Singapore Post to boost its logistics and delivery operations.

It has also made forays into entertainment, paying $1.22bn for a stake in top Chinese online video platform Youku Tudou in April and acquiring Hong Kong-listed ChinaVision Media Group in March.

POTENTIAL: China has the world's biggest online population and its annual online sales are forecast to reach between $420bn and $650bn by 2020. By then it will be the world's largest online retail market, consulting firm McKinsey estimates.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    alibaba  |  jack ma  |  china  |  internet  |  online shopping
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Woodcock's career ended by injury
Major Payne as Ireland lose star centre
LIVE: Samoa 26 Scotland 23
Jones: Japan can be 'team of the tournament'
Traffic Alerts

The phrase for today is:”Out of the blue.” Expect the unexpected and work with the changeable energy. Your intuition is more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.