I – Company Background
Alibaba.com was founded in 1999 by Jack Ma. It has become one of the world’s largest business-to-business platforms in the world, with more than 56 million registered users in more than 240 countries and regions, linking sellers of Chinese manufactured goods to millions of wholesalers overseas. The company is about 40% owned by Yahoo.
Alibaba.com has four business-to-business (B2B) marketplaces. The company’s English language international marketplace (www.alibaba.com) serves to bring together importers and exporters from more than 240 countries and regions. The China marketplace (www.1688.com) is developed for domestic business-to-business trade in China. It also has a Japanese marketplace (www.alibaba.co.jp), which is focused on facilitating trade to and from Japan through an associated company. In addition, Alibaba.com offers a transaction-based wholesale platform, AliExpress (www.aliexpress.com), which serves smaller buyers seeking fast shipment of small quantities of goods. Launched in April 2010, AliExpress provides an escrow service and supports payments through Visa, MasterCard or bank transfer. Formerly customers could also use PayPal, but PayPal terminated its partnership with the company in 2011.
Alibaba.com also offers a range of business management software, Internet infrastructure services and export-related services, and provides educational services to incubate enterprise management and e-commerce professionals. Alibaba.com has offices in more than 70 cities across China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Europe and the United States.
July 2010, Alibaba.com bought U.S. e-commerce site Vendio Services Inc., making its first major U.S. acquisition. In August 2010, Alibaba.com also acquired Auctiva, the leading third-party developer of tools for eBay sellers, to strengthen its position as a go-to supply source for U.S. e-commerce entrepreneurs. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.
In November 2010,...
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