Founded in 1999 by CEO Jack Ma, Alibaba Group Holding Limited is a 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. Based in Hangzhou, China, Alibaba operates primarily in the People’s Republic of China.
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. In September 2014, Alibaba’s IPO raised $21.8 billion, making Alibaba the biggest IPO in U.S. history.