Who Owns Alibaba

From the initial founding years through to the present day who owns Alibaba

Gary Fox

Who Owns Alibaba

Who Owns Alibaba

In this article I cover who owns Alibaba from the initial founding years through to the present day. I’ve also included a number of interesting facts, milestones and more information about the Alibaba group.

Key Facts About Alibaba

. Company name:



Jack Ma and a group of 17 co-founders including Joe Tsai

Launch date:


Year founded:


Company CEO:

Daniel Zhang


Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

Number of employees


Ticker symbol


Annual revenue

$109.48 billion (2023)

Profit | Net Income

$23.38 billion (2023)

Market Cap

$187.15 Billion (March 2024)

Alibaba Useful Links

Facebook 2
Tik Tok
Social Media 2
Social 2

Who Created Alibaba?

Alibaba Group was founded by Jack Ma along with other co-founders in 1999. The company’s inception took place in Hangzhou, China, aiming to create a platform that allows Chinese manufacturers to connect with overseas buyers.

The full list of the 18 founders of Alibaba Group:

  1. Jack Ma (Ma Yun) – Founder and former Executive Chairman
  2. Joseph Tsai (Tsai Chung-Hsin) – Co-founder and Executive Vice Chairman
  3. Lucy Peng (Peng Lei) – Co-founder and former CEO of Ant Group
  4. Shao Xiaofeng – Co-founder and former Chief Risk Officer
  5. Shi Yufeng – Co-founder and former Chief Technology Officer
  6. Zhou Yuehong – Co-founder and former Chief Operating Officer
  7. Jin Jianhang – Co-founder and former President of Alibaba Group
  8. Wu Yongming – Co-founder and former Senior Vice President
  9. Xie Shihuang – Co-founder and former Senior Vice President
  10. Li Qi – Co-founder and former Senior Vice President
  11. Cathy Zhang (Zhang Ying) – Co-founder and former Senior Vice President
  12. Eddie Wu (Wu Wei) – Co-founder and former Senior Vice President
  13. Trudy Dai (Dai Shan) – Co-founder and President of Wholesale Marketplaces
  14. Jian Wang – Co-founder and former Chief Technology Officer of Taobao
  15. Peng Jianfeng – Co-founder and former Chief People Officer
  16. Judy Tong (Tong Wenhong) – Co-founder and Chief People Officer
  17. Jianhang Jin – Co-founder and former Senior Vice President
  18. Ming Zeng – Co-founder and former Senior Vice President

These individuals, led by Jack Ma, were part of the original team that founded Alibaba in 1999 in Ma’s apartment in Hangzhou, China. Many of them held key leadership roles in the company’s early years and helped shape its culture and strategy.

While some have since left Alibaba to pursue other ventures, others like Lucy Peng and Trudy Dai have taken on leadership roles in Alibaba’s subsidiaries and affiliates. Jack Ma and Joseph Tsai remain the most well-known founders and continue to be closely associated with Alibaba even after stepping back from day-to-day management.

The founders’ collective vision, entrepreneurial drive, and complementary skills were instrumental in transforming Alibaba from a small startup to one of the world’s largest and most influential technology companies. Their partnership and stake in Alibaba, known as the Alibaba Partnership, also plays a key role in the corporate governance of the company.

When Was Alibaba Founded?

Alibaba’s first platform, Alibaba.com, became operational in 1999, the same year the company was founded.

Alibaba.com was launched as a business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce platform with a primary goal of connecting Chinese manufacturers and suppliers with overseas buyers. It started as a simple directory of Chinese companies and their products, serving as a digital catalog for global trade.

The initial version of Alibaba.com was a fairly basic website, but it was one of the first of its kind to focus on facilitating cross-border trade for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in China. At the time, China was just beginning to open up its economy and the internet was still in its early stages in the country.

Despite the rudimentary nature of the platform, Alibaba.com quickly gained traction among Chinese suppliers looking to reach international markets. It filled a significant gap in the market by making it easier for these companies to connect with buyers around the world, at a time when such opportunities were limited.

History and Timeline on the Key Milestones for Alibaba

Alibaba Also Has A Mobile App

Key milestones and timeline:

  • 1999 – Alibaba founded in Hangzhou, China
  • 1999 – Alibaba.com B2B platform launched
  • 2003 – Taobao C2C marketplace launched
  • 2004 – Alipay online payment service launched
  • 2005 – Yahoo invests $1 billion for 40% stake in Alibaba
  • 2007 – Alibaba.com IPO on Hong Kong Stock Exchange
  • 2008 – Tmall B2C platform for brands and retailers launched
  • 2014 – Alibaba IPO on NYSE raises $25 billion, the largest IPO at the time
  • 2015 – Alibaba becomes largest retail commerce company in the world by GMV
  • 2016 – Alibaba acquires controlling stake in Lazada, expanding into Southeast Asia
  • 2017 – Alibaba becomes second Asian company to surpass $400 billion market cap
  • 2019 – Alibaba listed on Hong Kong Stock Exchange in secondary listing, raising $11 billion 2020 – Alibaba Cloud becomes profitable and expands internationally
  • 2023 – Alibaba announces major restructuring into six business groups to drive future growth

What Does Alibaba Own

What Does Alibaba Own - A Graphic Of All The Companies Alibaba Owns

Alibaba Group is a multinational technology conglomerate that owns and operates a diverse portfolio of businesses in e-commerce, retail, internet, and technology. Key companies include:

  • Alibaba.com – Leading global B2B trade platform connecting buyers and suppliers
  • Taobao – China’s largest online C2C marketplace with over 700 million monthly active users
  • Tmall – Leading B2C platform for brands and retailers in China
  • AliExpress – Global retail marketplace connecting consumers with Chinese merchants
  • 1688.com – China’s leading platform for domestic B2B wholesale trade
  • Alibaba Cloud – China’s largest cloud service provider and 3rd largest globally
  • Cainiao Network – Smart logistics network and data platform
  • Ant Group – World’s highest-valued fintech company, operating Alipay and financial services
  • Youku – Leading online video and streaming platform in China
  • Lazada – #1 e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia
  • Ele.me – China’s leading online food delivery platform
  • Freshippo (Hema) – New retail grocery chain combining online and offline

How Does Alibaba Work?

At its core, the Alibaba business model operates a series of interrelated platform businesses that facilitate interactions and transactions between different groups. For example, Taobao connects buyers and sellers, while Cainiao coordinates merchants and logistics providers.

The platforms benefit from strong network effects – the more users on one side (e.g. buyers), the more valuable it becomes to the other side (e.g. sellers), creating a virtuous cycle of growth. Alibaba creates value for participants by reducing friction and transaction costs.

APIs allow third-party developers to create additional services that integrate with and enhance the platforms. Alibaba also offers its own complementary services like Alipay and logistics to make its marketplaces more useful and efficient.

Alibaba generates revenue through diversified streams including advertising fees, commissions on transactions, membership fees, and service fees. The massive scale of its ecosystems enables significant monetization.

Who Owns Alibaba?

Who is Jack Ma (Ma Yun)?

Pricture Of Kack Ma Key Founder Of Alibaba
Jack Ma – key founder of Alibaba

Jack Ma is the co-founder and former executive chairman of Alibaba Group. Born in 1964 in Hangzhou, China, Ma began his career as an English teacher. In 1995, he founded China Pages, one of China’s first internet companies.

He then founded Alibaba in 1999 with a vision to help small businesses leverage the power of the internet. Under his leadership, Alibaba grew into one of the world’s largest e-commerce and technology companies.

Known for his charismatic personality and global ambition, Ma became an icon for entrepreneurship in China. He stepped down as executive chairman in 2019 to focus on philanthropic pursuits in education and environmental sustainability. With a net worth of over $20 billion, Ma remains a lifetime partner in the Alibaba Partnership and continues to shape the company’s vision and culture.

Who is Joseph Tsai (Tsai Chung-Hsin)

Joseph Tsai is a co-founder and the executive vice chairman of Alibaba Group. Born in Taiwan and educated at Yale, Tsai was a tax attorney in New York before joining Alibaba as a member of the founding team in 1999.

As chief financial officer from 1999 to 2013, Tsai played a pivotal role in Alibaba’s major investments, acquisitions, and record-breaking IPO in 2014. An avid sports enthusiast, Tsai has acquired ownership of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and WNBA’s New York Liberty in recent years.

He also chairs the Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation, which supports education, healthcare, and economic mobility initiatives. With an estimated net worth of over $7 billion, Tsai remains a key leader in shaping Alibaba’s long-term strategy and global growth.

Other Notable Founders

Lucy Peng (Peng Lei): Lucy Peng, a co-founder of Alibaba, served as the CEO of Ant Group and Chief People Officer of Alibaba. She played a key role in the growth of Alipay and the formation of Ant Group.

Shao Xiaofeng: Shao Xiaofeng, a co-founder and former Chief Risk Officer, was responsible for managing risks across Alibaba’s platforms and ensuring the integrity of the company’s ecosystems.

Shi Yufeng: Shi Yufeng, a co-founder and former Chief Technology Officer, led the development of Alibaba’s technology infrastructure and played a key role in the company’s early technological innovations.

Zhou Yuehong: Zhou Yuehong, a co-founder and former Chief Operating Officer, oversaw the daily operations of Alibaba and played a crucial role in the company’s organizational development.

Jin Jianhang: Jin Jianhang, a co-founder and former President of Alibaba Group, was instrumental in the company’s strategic partnerships and international expansion efforts.

Wu Yongming: Wu Yongming, a co-founder and former Senior Vice President, held leadership roles in Alibaba’s B2B and C2C business units, contributing to their growth and success.

Xie Shihuang: Xie Shihuang, a co-founder and former Senior Vice President, played a key role in the development of Alibaba’s sales and marketing strategies.

Li Qi: Li Qi, a co-founder and former Senior Vice President, held leadership positions in Alibaba’s technology and engineering teams, contributing to the company’s technological advancements.

Cathy Zhang (Zhang Ying): Cathy Zhang, a co-founder and former Senior Vice President, led Alibaba’s international business development and played a key role in the company’s global expansion.

Eddie Wu (Wu Wei): Eddie Wu, a co-founder and former Senior Vice President, held leadership roles in Alibaba’s B2B and C2C business units, contributing to their growth and success.

Trudy Dai (Dai Shan): Trudy Dai, a co-founder and President of Wholesale Marketplaces, has been instrumental in the growth and success of Alibaba’s B2B e-commerce platforms, including Alibaba.com and 1688.com.

Jian Wang: Jian Wang, a co-founder and former Chief Technology Officer of Taobao, led the technical development of Alibaba’s consumer-facing e-commerce platform and contributed to its rapid growth.

Peng Jianfeng: Peng Jianfeng, a co-founder and former Chief People Officer, played a key role in shaping Alibaba’s organizational culture and human resource strategies.

Judy Tong (Tong Wenhong): Judy Tong, a co-founder and Chief People Officer, has been responsible for overseeing Alibaba’s human resource management and organizational development.

Jianhang Jin: Jianhang Jin, a co-founder and former Senior Vice President, held leadership roles in Alibaba’s technology and engineering teams, contributing to the company’s technological advancements.

Ming Zeng: Ming Zeng, a co-founder and former Senior Vice President, played a key role in shaping Alibaba’s strategic direction and business development initiatives.

Current Shareholders of Alibaba

The Split Of Who Owns Alibaba
Instutitional vs Public vs Insiders for who owns Alibaba

Who Is Alibaba’s Biggest Shareholder?

Jack Ma and Joe Tsai, co-founders of Alibaba, have emerged as the largest shareholders of Alibaba Group, showcasing a significant shift in the company’s shareholding structure. In the fourth quarter, Jack Ma acquired approximately $50 million of Alibaba’s stock traded in Hong Kong, thereby elevating his stake to more than 4.3%.

Concurrently, Joe Tsai invested around $151.7 million through his family investment vehicle, Blue Pool Management, in Alibaba’s U.S.-traded shares, making him the second-largest shareholder. This strategic acquisition occurred amid an 11% decline in Alibaba’s stock price during the same quarter, underlining the founders’ confidence in the company’s potential for resurgence.

These investments were part of broader efforts by Ma and Tsai to consolidate their positions within Alibaba as the company navigates through challenging times, including regulatory pressures and market competition.

Alibaba’s stock price has faced significant volatility in recent years, prompted by regulatory actions against its affiliate Ant Group and broader antitrust measures within China. Despite these challenges, Ma’s and Tsai’s increased shareholdings signal their belief in Alibaba’s long-term value proposition and strategic direction.

Largest Shareholders In Alibaba 2024

Softbank Group

SoftBank Group Corp. is a global conglomerate headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, primarily focusing on investment in technology sectors, including telecommunications, internet services, AI, smart robotics, IoT, and clean energy. Founded by Masayoshi Son in 1981, SoftBank has evolved into one of the world’s largest technology investors, notably through its Vision Funds, which invest in breakthrough technologies and startups across various stages of their lifecycle. The company aims to drive the Information Revolution, making significant investments in companies that lead in their respective domains.

Vanguard Group Inc

Vanguard Group Inc. is an American investment management company founded by John C. Bogle in 1975. It is known for pioneering low-cost index investing and is one of the world’s largest investment management firms. Vanguard offers a wide range of investment products, including mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and retirement planning services. The company is owned by its funds, which in turn are owned by their shareholders, allowing Vanguard to prioritize the interests of its clients. Vanguard is headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania, and has a global presence with offices in various countries. The company is known for its client-centric approach, low expense ratios, and commitment to long-term investing strategies.

Norges Bank Investment Management

Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) is the division of the Norwegian central bank (Norges Bank) responsible for managing the Government Pension Fund Global, often referred to as the Norwegian Oil Fund. Established in 1996, NBIM is tasked with the long-term management of Norway’s vast oil revenues. It is one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, investing in international equity and fixed-income markets, real estate, and renewable energy projects to safeguard and build financial wealth for future Norwegian generations. NBIM focuses on ethical guidelines, emphasizing responsible investment practices.


APN Ltd is a Caymans Island Limited company used by Jack Ma and Joseph Tsai for investments.

Is Alibaba Bigger Than Amazon?

As of 2023, Amazon is a larger company than Alibaba in terms of revenue, market capitalization, and global presence. In 2022, Amazon reported revenue of $514 billion, while Alibaba’s revenue was $134 billion.

Amazon’s market capitalization as of March 2023 is around $1 trillion, compared to Alibaba’s $240 billion. Amazon operates in more countries and has a significant presence in North America, Europe, and other international markets, while Alibaba primarily dominates in China and has a growing presence in Southeast Asia.

However, Alibaba does have a larger share of the e-commerce market in China, with a 56% market share compared to Amazon’s 37% share in the United States. Alibaba also has a more diversified business portfolio, with significant operations in fintech, cloud computing, and entertainment, while Amazon’s core business remains centered around e-commerce and cloud computing (AWS).

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