Social Media forces like Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat are names we are all familiar with. For many, these services are part of our daily lives. In some of us it would be more accurate to call it our minute-by-minute lives.

What about companies like Alibaba? Sure, it’s a familiar name but what exactly they do is not so clear.

Alibaba got its start in San Francisco way back in 1999. A young, unknown Jack Ma founded a business-to-business portal to connect Chinese manufacturers with US buyers.

The name Alibaba, as legend holds, was chosen because everyone recognized the word and immediately associated it in a positive way by responding, Open Sesame! It was a wise choice for its name recognition world over.

The mystery of Alibaba may be due to their activities focusing so much on China and nearby parts of Asia. But it is just as likely that their many online platforms are not yet on your computers bookmark list. So lets have a look at this $250 billion mystery company. 

Huge Presence in Online and Mobile

Alibaba is a global online and mobile marketing colossus. They have all the bases covered: Business-to-Business, Business-to-Consumer and Consumer-to-Consumer.

Visualize Alibaba as a combination of EBay, Amazon, Google, Expedia, and PayPal with a touch of Costco and Home Depot. That might get you close to what we are talking about.

If you’re a citizen in the Republic of China, you know Taobao Marketplace for online shopping or Tmail that is the Asian version of EBay. And what would a vacation be without Alitrip?

If you are in business anywhere in the world, Alibaba.com is where you are likely to check for wholesale prices on a huge variety made in China products including everything from electronic goods to apparel. AliExpress is the second most popular site in Russia for small Chinese businesses to sell their wares.

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