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Added Sep 26, 2014 at 02:07PM EDT by Don.

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Alibaba is a Chinese multinational Internet e-commerce business made of several websites, payment services a search engine and cloud computing services.


In December 1998, Chinese entrepreneur Jack Ma[4] collaborated with 17 other co-founders to establish the online retail service “Alibaba Online.” According to Ma, he came up with the name for the site, "Alibaba," after the titular character from the well-known Arabic folk tale Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, while sitting at a coffee shop one day in San Francisco. In October 2005, Alibaba partnered with Yahoo! Inc to operate China Yahoo! Inc On May 10th, 2013, Ma stepped down as the Alibaba Group chief executive officer (CEO) to become executive chairman, being replaced by Jonathan Lu as the company’s new CEO.


On September 5th, 2014, Alibaba was priced at $60 to $66 per share for its initial public offering (IPO) in a regulatory filing by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. On the following day, Big News Network[2] reported that the listing was expected to reach upwards of $20 billion on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to become the largest tech listing in U.S. history. On September 22nd, the Alibaba IPO was raised to $25 billion after Alibaba’s underwriters announced they would be selling investors more shares than originally planned. As of September 26th, Alibaba Group has a NYSE share price of $89.47 (shown below).

Alibaba Group NYSE: BABA-Sep 26 2:15 PM ET 89.47 +0.55 (0.62%) 1 day 5 day 1 month3 month 1 year year max 94 92 90 86 Sep 22 Sep 23 Sep 24 Sep 25 Sep 26 Open 89.73 High 90.10 Low 88.66 Market cap 218.82E P/E ratio (ttm) - Dividend yield Google Finance - Yahoo Finance - MSN Money Disclaimer


Alibaba: Business-to-Business Service

On April 4th, 1999, Ma launched[3] as a business-to-business website to link Chinese manufacturers and overseas buyers. That year, Alibaba Group raised $25 million in investment from major banks and institutions overseas, including Softbank, Goldman Sachs and Fidelity.

Taobao: Retail Market Place

In 2003, the Alibaba Group launched the Chinese online shopping platform Taobao Marketplace.

Alipay: Online Payment Service

In 2004, Alibaba made the Alipay online payment and escrow service, used as a Chinese version of PayPal.


In April 2008, Alibaba created the Tmail online retailer platform.

Cloud Computing

In September 2009, the Alibaba Cloud Computing platform was launched.


In 2010, the online retail service AliExpress was created.


Gold Supplier Memberships provides "Gold Supplier" memberships to sellers that have been verified as authentic and reputable. In February 2011, the Alibaba Group announced that it had supplied 2,236 Gold Supplier memberships to sellers that subsequently defrauded customers.

Illegal Uranium Sale

In August 2013, Alibaba seller Patrick Campbell was arrested for attempting to export 1,000 tonnes of yellowcake uranium from Sierra Leone after an United States law enforcement agent posed as a broker seeking to purchase the radioactive material.

Sesame Credit

In June 2015, Alibaba ran a public beta for its "Sesame Credit score" in China, which uses loan records and other economic activity to give a credit rating to citizens. In addition, the system uses a person's hobbies, interactions with friends, shopping habits and other general lifestyle information to calculate their scores. On October 5th, the American Civil Liberties Union[7] published an article titled "China's Nightmarish Citizen Scores Are a Warning For Americans," which argued that Sesame Credit was being built as a new way to foster political compliance. On December 16th, the Extra Credits YouTube channel uploaded a video about Sesame Credit, criticizing the system as "dystopian" (shown below). On December 21st, the news site Anti Media[8] published an article about the program, which subsequently reached the front page of the /r/Futurology[9] subreddit.


According to the traffic analytics site Alexa,[5] has a global rank of 63 and a rank of 24 in China as of September 2014.

Search Interest

External References

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Top Comments


Chinese KYMer here, This whole rumor of Sesame Credit is BS.

Sesame Credit is currently only used by Alibaba as a measure of one’s trustworthiness of electronic loans, kind of like the US’s credit score. Currently the relationship only takes up 5% of the Sesame Credit. There are currently no signs or no news that show a mandatory policy of Sesame Credit to be used in China any time soon. Video games, and their consoles are banned in China, and we often buy them overseas or pirate them.

On the other hand, the government is trying to create a credit system of business representatives to test their trustworthiness too, it is NOT at all related to sesame credit.

I see many of the people here to refer to Extra Credit’s video for proof, but Extra Credit’s video shows no authorized first-hand or second-hand information to back it up. Anti-media’s article bases its opinion on Extra Credit’s video. The ACLU reporter also claimed that:“I did include a passing caution about my lack of direct knowledge of the source’s accuracy.”

Here’s a better source from BBC:

The reason for the misunderstanding here is because of China’s lack of communication with the outer world. China has set up a blockade of information that blocks IPs of foreign websites. In a scenario where China users are free to access foreign information, this rumor would be solved immediately.


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