Leader of the pack: What makes the Alibaba Group so successful?

"Chinese e-commerce website Alibaba has had a transformative effect on the lives of many of its users. Alibaba Group, which matches buyers with sellers in the same way as eBay, has grown into an internet behemoth. Founded in 1999 by Jack Ma, it has a market capitalisation of US$233 billion on the New York Stock Exchange and had sales of more than 100 billion Chinese yuan ($19.5 billion) in its most recent financial year. The company's websites facilitate business-to-business sales, business-to-consumer sales and consumer-to-consumer sales and sell more than US e-commerce giants eBay and Amazon combined. As impressive as those numbers are, for many Chinese Alibaba has meant something different – a way out of poverty and into business ownership. Many rural communities have started using Alibaba's consumer and small business portal, known as Taobao, to start their own small enterprises. It has led to the phenomenon known as the "Taobao village" – largely agrarian communities transformed thanks to new job opportunities created by the site." Felix Ter Chian Tan, Business Think, 18 October 2016 Read more

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