Reuters - Video

EDITION: U.S. | U.K. | IN

Top News

Get to know Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba

5:32am BST - 01:58

Alibaba Group is on track for a record-breaking IPO this week. Jane Lanhee Lee gives investors a look into the company that commands China's massive online market.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

A new record for tech IPOs in New York about to be set by a made-in-China e-commerce mammoth. But who is Alibaba Group? (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS REPORTER, JANE LANHEE LEE, SAYING: "Few online shoppers outside of China have likely ever heard of Alibaba. But it's a company to take notice -- it could raise well over 20 billion U.S. dollars as it lists in New York." Alibaba was launched in 1999 in a dingy apartment in Hangzhou in eastern China by a former English teacher Jack Ma, an entrepreneur with rock star status here. Initially set up for local and overseas companies to source goods in China. By 2003 it launched shopping site Taobao to target the country's fast growing e-commerce world. EBay was king in that area, but Alibaba cracked the market with Alipay. It's like Paypal but with a difference: it holds the money to make sure the buyer is satisfied with the goods. That took out the mistrust in a market full of fakes and tales of swindlers. Unlike Amazon which owns its warehouses and goods, Alibaba is only a trading platform to link buyers with online stores - it makes its money on fees and ads from sellers. And with a massive Chinese market at its finger tips, Alibaba blows past Amazon. In the past year all the stuff sold on Alibaba's online platforms racked up some 300 billion U.S. dollars - about four times that of Amazon. Plus Alibaba has hefty profits, while Amazon still struggles. But in this huge market, competition is looming as other Internet retailers want part of the pie. So when it lists in New York, the tech and retail world will be watching Alibaba more carefully than ever before to see if it can keep its e-commerce treasure trove locked up. ENDS

Get to know Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba

5:32am BST - 01:58

Editors' Picks »

Oddly Enough »

Mexico dishes up creepy crawly fare Mexico dishes up creepy crawly fare

Sun, 14 Sep, 2014 - (1:31)

Lion cubs the pride of San Diego Zoo Lion cubs the pride of San Diego Zoo

Sat, 13 Sep, 2014 - (0:46)

Holy cow, get me outta here! Holy cow, get me outta here!

Tue, 09 Sep, 2014 - (0:21)

Enough tacos to feed a village Enough tacos to feed a village

Mon, 08 Sep, 2014 - (0:46)

Giant rabbit just laying about in Taiwan Giant rabbit just laying about in Taiwan

Mon, 08 Sep, 2014 - (1:07)

This is one very large order of beer This is one very large order of beer

Mon, 08 Sep, 2014 - (1:24)

Reuters Investigates »

Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead" Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead"

Wed, 19 Feb, 2014 - (8:24)

Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest

Fri, 10 Jan, 2014 - (4:01)

"Passed around like a dog" "Passed around like a dog"

Thu, 29 Aug, 2013 - (6:32)

Adopted, then abandoned online Adopted, then abandoned online

Thu, 29 Aug, 2013 - (13:21)

How the DEA keeps its secrets secret How the DEA keeps its secrets secret

Mon, 05 Aug, 2013 - (1:36)

How education lost its role as the great equalizer - Reuters Investigates How education lost its role as the great...

Mon, 17 Dec, 2012 - (7:52)

Jihad Jane: From abused child to American jihadist - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: From abused child to American...

Sun, 09 Dec, 2012 - (10:01)

Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters...

Mon, 10 Dec, 2012 - (10:39)

Moving Pictures »

Still missing – MH370 Still missing – MH370

Fri, 05 Sep, 2014 - (2:05)

Images of August Images of August

Fri, 29 Aug, 2014 - (1:00)

Burning Together Burning Together

Mon, 01 Sep, 2014 - (2:23)

Mending dolls, teddies and hearts Mending dolls, teddies and hearts

Fri, 22 Aug, 2014 - (3:12)

"Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay "Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay

Mon, 11 Aug, 2014 - (2:27)

Burned memories Burned memories

Fri, 08 Aug, 2014 - (3:02)

Images of July Images of July

Fri, 01 Aug, 2014 - (1:20)

World Cup: passion on the pitch World Cup: passion on the pitch

Fri, 11 Jul, 2014 - (1:00)

A refugee in America gives back A refugee in America gives back

Thu, 03 Jul, 2014 - (3:25)

A long search for refuge A long search for refuge

Fri, 20 Jun, 2014 - (3:04)