Alibaba Group Holding Limited is a Chinese multinational conglomerate holding company specializing in e-commerce, retail, Internet, and technology. Founded 4 April 1999, the company provides consumer-to-consumer (C2C), business-to-consumer (B2C), and business-to-business (B2B) 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 19 December 2018, Alibaba's market cap stood at US$352.28 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 its competitor Tencent. As of 2018, Alibaba has the 9th highest global brand value.
Alibaba is the world's largest retailer and e-commerce company, 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. The company hosts the largest B2B (Alibaba.com), C2C (Taobao), and B2C (Tmall) marketplaces 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 sets the record on the 2018 edition of China's Singles' Day, the world's biggest online and offline shopping day.