- Alibaba.com – The primary company of Alibaba Group and the world’s largest online business-to-business trading platform for small businesses where users can sell their products to companies in other countries.
- Taobao – China’s largest consumer-to-consumer online shopping platform
- Tmall – An online retail platform complementing the Taobao consumer-to-consumer portal
Because Alibaba runs marketplaces and has a huge customer base, with gross sales amounting to $170 billion in 2012, the amount of business that flows over its sites dwarfs that of other e-commerce companies such as Amazon and eBay. This is due in large part to its much larger customer base (China has more internet users than people in the U.S.) and their propensity toward repeat business (Alibaba faces a lot less competition within China than American companies in the U.S.).
Alibaba has announced plans for an initial public offering (IPO) or its first sale of stock to the public in the US, saying the move will make it “a more global company”. However, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which advises the U.S. Congress on U.S.-China economic issues, warned that investors face “major risks” if they buy shares in Chinese companies such as Alibaba Group.