It's almost easier to list what Alibaba group doesn't do. The company's first business was alibaba.com set up by the company's founder Jack Ma in 1999. The website helps to connect exporters in China (and other countries) with companies in over 190 countries around the world. The system allows a business in the UK to find a manufacturer in China and have a range of goods produced and shipped.
It's not just businesses that use Alibaba's websites. It also owns taobao.com, China's largest shopping website, and tmall.com, which offers a wide selection of branded goods to China's emerging middle class.
Alibaba's reach does not end there, it also runs the online payment system alipay.com, which operates like Paypal. It also has a large stake in Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter, and the online video provider, Youku Tudou, which operates in a similar way to YouTube.
The company also offers online marketing, cloud computing and a logistics operation. Alibaba's growth in its core business has allowed it to expand into new areas. It recently bought a controlling stake in a film business and 50% of China's most successful football club, Guangzhou Evergrande.
Finally, and possibly most significantly, it has plans to enter the banking industry.
INC News, 14/09/2014