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. Here are key things to know:
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 ALIBABA 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.