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Alibaba Group

Alibaba Group

Alibaba Group is a hangzhou-based group of Internet-based e-commerce businesses founded in 1999 by Jack Ma, Peng Lei and Joseph Tsai.

In 1999 Jack Ma and his friends founded Alibaba.com in an apartment in Hangzhou, Zhejiang China. Jack Ma is an English teacher in Hangzhou. Alibaba started as a retailer and e-commerce company servicing business-to-business (B2B), consumer-to-consumer (C2C), and consumer-to-business (C2B).

The name Alibaba is from the folk tale One Thousand And One Nights. Jack Ma chose the name because of its universal appeal.

Taobao Marketplace, a consumer-to-consumer online shopping platform was launched by Alibaba in 2003. It became Taobao Mall in April 2008. In 2013 it was the most visited website in China.

The company went public in 2014, raising $25 billion, it is more than Facebook in the largest offering in the history of the New York Stock Exchange!

AliExpress was launch by Alibaba in 2010. It is made up of a small Chinese businessman and offers retail products to international buyers. Through AliExpress, a lot of small businesses in China were able to sell their products all over the world.

In April 2016 Alibaba Group acquired control of Lazada Group, a Singaporean company by paying $500 million for shares and buying $500 million shares from other investors. Lazada operates in several Asian countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore. Lucy Peng Lei (Alibaba co-founder) is the CEO of Lazada.

By September 10, 2019, Jack Ma will step down as executive chairman. Daniel Zhang ( Alibaba CEO) will succeed him as executive chairman of Alibaba Group.

Timeline

January 18, 2022
Administration of the United States President Joe Biden started investigating Alibaba Cloud business' potential risk to the U.S. national security. This included scrutiny of storage facility of the U.S. clients' data by the provider and to determine whether the Chinese government can obtain access to the same.
November 11, 2021
it was reported that over the course of its 11-day Singles' Day sales extravaganza, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding received a record 540.3 billion yuan (S$114.4 billion) in orders, a 14 percent increase over the previous year.
June 2021
Alibaba's Tmall Innovation Partnership turns around a major new cosmetic product in 59 Days. It was a new product that they discovered the local market were searching for this solution, and with the data and platform for product launch allowed them to launch a new product end-to-end within 59 days. It is one of the fastest that they have ever managed to launch a new product.
April 9, 2021
As part of a Chinese crackdown on big tech the state Administration for Market Regulation issued a $2.8 billion fine against Alibaba for anti-competitive practices and ordered Alibaba to file self-examination and compliance reports to the SAMR for three years. This amounted to 12% of its 2020 net profit. Critics say the move tightens the Chinese's governments control of tech companies.
February 2021
Alibaba sold $5 billion in bonds, the company's third large sale of dollar bonds, issuing four sets priced to yield between 2.143% and 3.251%. The four sets of bonds were $1.5 billion of both 10 year and 30 year debt along with $1 billion of bonds due in 20 and 40 years. The 20 year bonds were designated as sustainability notes.
December 24, 2020
China launched an antitrust investigation into Alibaba Group regulators, in a crackdown on China's booming Internet space's anti-competitive behavior. In December 2020, the shares of Alibaba Group suffered a historic stock price crash to the lowest close in around 6 months, following the antitrust investigation into the company by Chinese regulators.
December 2020
The New York Times reported that Alibaba had developed and marketed facial recognition and surveillance software configured to detect Uyghur faces and those of other ethnic minorities in China. Alibaba responded that it was "dismayed to learn" that its Alibaba Cloud subsidiary had developed this feature, defending that the technology was developed "in a testing environment" and that it "was not deployed by any customer." However, IPVM reported in December 2020 that Alibaba refused to provide any proof the Uyghur recognition feature was just a "test" or "trial" and that Alibaba's own website showed Uyghur recognition as a live feature.
November 2020
The Wall Street Journal reported that Chinese Communist Party general secretary Xi Jinping personally scuttled Jack Ma's Ant Group IPO. At that time this was highlighted as the world's largest IPO suspension, sending a chilling warning to numerous entrepreneurs. Bo Zhuang, chief China economist at TS Lombard said that the suspension "forms part of a wider political drive as the leadership seeks to widen and consolidate its control over finance and technology". What followed was an unexpected Chinese government-released draft on 10 November 2020, which gives regulatory authorities a wider latitude to regulate their biggest tech enterprises.
October 2020
Alibaba agreed to pay US$3.6 billion to take control of China's biggest hypermarket operator Sun Art from French billionaire Mulliez family. The deal doubled the group's stake in the hypermarket chain with a tootles ownership of 72%.
September 25, 2019
Alibaba announced an AI accelerator called the Hanguang 800. The Hanguang 800 contains 17 billion transistors built with a 12 nm process and was designed by T-Head and DAMO Academy (Alibaba's research arm). Alibaba claim it is capable of 78,563 images per second (IPS) inference and 500 IPS/W in ResNet-50. The Hanguang 800 will be available to be rented on Alibaba Cloud.

Funding rounds

Products

Acquisitions

Patents

Further reading

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

Documentaries, videos and podcasts

Title
Date
Link

How Alibaba's Cloud Technology is Addressing Broadcasters' Pain Points at Olympic Games

March 10, 2022

The Alibaba Story | Inside China

September 17, 2014

News

Title
Author
Date
Publisher
Description
October 12, 2021
The Economic Times
The Chinese billionaire has been keeping a low profile since delivering a speech in October last year in Shanghai criticising China's financial regulators. That triggered a chain of events that resulted in the shelving of his Ant Group's mega IPO.
By JOE McDONALD and ZEN SOO
October 3, 2021
AP NEWS
BEIJING (AP) -- The ruling Communist Party is tightening political control over China's internet giants and tapping their wealth to pay for its ambitions to reduce reliance on U.S. and European technology.
JOE McDONALD and ZEN SOO AP Business Writers
October 3, 2021
ABC News
After flourishing for two decades with little regulation, China's internet industries face a future of tighter control by the ruling Communist Party and pressure to pay for its tech ambitions, social welfare and propaganda
Paul Mozur
September 7, 2021
www.nytimes.com
Prosecutors declined to charge the man, who a co-worker said had assaulted her, an allegation that highlighted sexism in the Chinese tech scene.
September 7, 2021
AP NEWS
BEIJING (AP) -- Chinese prosecutors have dropped a case against a former Alibaba manager accused by a female colleague of sexual assault, weeks after the case caused a backlash against the e-commerce firm over how it handles sexual misconduct allegations.
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References

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