Founded in April 1999, Alibaba Group Holding Limited is a publicly traded group of Internet-based e-commerce businesses, including B2B online web portals, online retail and payment services, a shopping search engine, and data-centric cloud computing services.
Alibaba is based in Hangzhou, China, and operates primarily in the People’s Republic of China. As of 2014, it was led by Jack Ma, founder and CEO. In 2012, two of Alibaba’s portals handled 1.1 trillion yuan in sales, more than competitors eBay and Amazon.com combined. Alibaba’s consumer-to-consumer portal, Taobao (similar to eBay), features nearly a billion products and is one of the 20 most-visited websites globally. By September 2014, Alibaba’s websites accounted for 80 percent of China’s online sales.
In September 2014, Alibaba’s IPO priced at $68, raising $21.8 billion for the company and investors and making Alibaba the biggest IPO in U.S. history. On September 19, 2014, Alibaba’s shares (BABA) began trading on the NYSE at an opening price of $92.70.