Alibaba. com was established around nine years ago. The company was the brainchild of Jack Ma – an English teacher in Hangzhou on the eastern part of China. His initial intention was to create a virtual platform where small Chinese merchants could trade their goods. From such humble beginnings, Alibaba. com rose to become one of the world’s premier goods trading portal. Now, the company not only caters to small entrepreneurs in China but also to medium enterprises and multi-national exporters around the world.
The company has proven to be agile and innovative that it was able to keep up with the changing needs to their customers. To accommodate the growing needs and also to keep up with the emerging diversity of the requirements of their clients, the company created the Alibaba Group. The umbrella company currently manages five online trading companies. Their premier cash cow, Alibaba. com remains a B2B portal, a business-to-business virtual goods trading. The website facilitates transactions between buyers and suppliers.
What is unique about Alibaba. com is that it offers opportunities for small manufacturers to trade with international buyers at competitive prices. Taobao. com, also a company under Alibaba. com, is an online auction portal. The site provides an avenue for individuals to bid for goods or services. Taobao. com primarily caters to individuals often selling a few items or a specialized service. Their three other sites target the growing Chinese economy. To complement the company’s trading markets, it created Alipay. om, an online payment service provider geared mainly to its Chinese clients.
The site offers Chinese clients online services for electronic payments via variety of payment methods. Alisoft. net is a web services provider and Alimama. com is a virtual portal where advertisers and publishers could transact (Kwok, 2007). The Alibaba Group is a truly an innovative virtual company that was able to adapt to the fast paced DOT COM environment and the ever-changing consumer needs. It has managed to expand its services globally by successfully identifying market trends and needs.