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Sierra Leone News: An Introduction to Alibaba online trading to Sierra Leone Businesses

Alibaba Group Holding Limited (Chinese: 阿里巴巴集团控股有限公司; pinyin: Ālǐbābā Jítuán Kònggǔ Yǒuxiàn Gōngsī) is a Chinese multinational e-commerce, retail, Internet, AI and technology conglomerate founded in 1999 that provides consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and business-to-business sales services via web portals, as well as electronic payment services, shopping search engines and cloud computing services.
It owns and operates a diverse array of businesses around the world in numerous sectors, and is named as one of the world’s most admired companies by Fortune. At closing time on the date of its initial public offering (IPO) – US$25 billion – the world’s highest in history, 19 September 2014, Alibaba’s market value was US$231 billion.
As of June 2018, Alibaba’s market cap stood at US$542 billion. It is one of the top 10 most valuable and biggest companies in the world. In January 2018, Alibaba became the second Asian company to break the US$500 billion valuation mark, after Tencent. As of 2018, Alibaba has the 9th highest global brand value.
With operations in over 200 countries, Alibaba is the world’s largest retailer, one of the largest Internet and AI companies, one of the biggest venture capital firms, and one of the biggest investment corporations in the world. Its online sales and profits surpassed all US retailers (including Walmart, Amazon and eBay) combined since 2015.
It has been expanding into the media industry, with revenues rising by triple percentage points year on year. It also orchestrated China’s Singles’ Day into the world’s biggest online and offline shopping day, with its own sales reaching over US$25.4 billion on 11 November 2017.
Recently, Alibaba has outperformed major cloud players including Amazon, Microsoft and Google in public cloud revenue growth, achieving triple-digit percentage revenue growth year-on-year.
Alibaba Group Chairman Jack Ma speaks during the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference on March 23, 2016 in Qionghai, Hainan Province of China.
Alibaba is the world’s biggest e-commerce platform. Over 420 million people scooped up $485 billion worth of stuff last fiscal year on Alibaba’s sites. The company went public in 2014, raising $25 billion — more than Facebook — in the largest offering in the history of the New York Stock Exchange.
WHAT IS ALIBABA?
Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms cater to both Chinese and global consumers, though the majority of its transactions are generated domestically. At its heart is Taobao, a Chinese consumer-to-consumer website much like eBay. Tmall offers merchants official storefronts to consumers in China. Alibaba and AliExpress connect businesses in China with buyers around the world.
WHAT ELSE DOES A LIBABA DO?
Alibaba has a financial affiliate that also runs a leading online payment platform called Alipay. Alibaba has stakes in Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, as well as Youku Tudou, a video platform akin to YouTube. It’s also a major backer of Didi Chuxing, China’s dominant ride-hailing app and an investor in Uber rival Lyft in the U.S. It has made investments worth hundreds of millions of dollars each into various sectors including Singapore’s postal service, the photo- and video-sharing app Snapchat, newspaper publisher South China Morning Post group and upstart Chinese smartphone maker Meizu. It’s building up a cloud computing and internet infrastructure business, setting up data centers in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world.
WHO’S BEHIND THE COMPANY?
Alibaba was founded in the living room of Jack Ma, a former English teacher. A self-made billionaire, Ma is a folk hero to some Chinese.
WHY DO SOME PEOPLE HATE ALIBABA?
There is widespread suspicion that Alibaba knowingly profits from the sale of fakes on its platforms – a point Gucci America, among others, has made in an ongoing U.S. lawsuit. Some brands complain about how slow and difficult it is to get fakes removed from Alibaba’s sites. Alibaba says it has spent tens of millions of dollars on anti-counterfeiting and that it is constantly trying to improve its systems.
WHERE’S THE NAME FROM?
Ma wanted a name people around the world would recognize. He asked a waitress in a San Francisco restaurant if she recognized the name Alibaba and she said, “Yes, open sesame!” Drawn from “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves,” the name stuck.
Thursday June 28, 2018.

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