icon_hacks_b Created with Sketch. Garage Blog

Open Sesame Door to Success

All over Tech and Finance news this week was Alibaba Group’s record-setting IPO (Initial Public Offering) on New York Stock Exchange.

All over Tech and Finance news this week was Alibaba Group’s record-setting IPO (Initial Public Offering) on New York Stock Exchange. The $25 billion offering was the largest US- listed initial public offering, possibly the biggest in the world! But, what and who is Alibaba?!

Alibaba Logo

Alibaba is China’s largest e-commerce company. Its three main sites- Taobao, Tmall and Alibaba.com have hundereds of millions of users, and hosts millions of merchants and businesses. They call it the “e-commerce giant” for a reason - the total transactions on Alibaba’s sites last year topped those of eBay and Amazon.com combined. What sets Alibaba apart is that it’s a mashup of eBay and Amazon and even Paypal.   It is a marketplace, a search engine and a bank, all at once!

Most of us are familiar with its Taobao site which is an online marketplace that links individual buyers and sellers, on Taobao you can basically shop for anything, literally anything from household appliances to commercial furniture. Quite a few of our lovely furniture in Garage Society was purchased from Taobao too ;) This is how much Taobao has penetrated into our lives. Alibaba has quickly become an integral part of everyday life, for consumers, for small business owners and even Chinese farmers who transformed their businesses online.

Taobao Logo

The brain behind this brilliant business model is Jack Ma, who was a former English teacher, teaching out of his apartment. He saw the opportunity of connecting businesses to consumers and utilizing existing technology to perform the matching hence created an online empire that benefit the society in many ways. What I admire most is Ma’s vision and perseverance. He had a humble beginning but he dreamed big. He had claimed that Alibaba will one day be bigger than retail giant Wal-mart. By focusing on building a great company that helps customers, Ma thinks making money is not the most important, to him what is important is influencing people as well as China’s development. Today, he is the wealthiest man in China, he challenges himself and Alibaba to help more people make sustainable money.

Alibaba Entrepreneur

I am curious to see what lies ahead for Alibaba and Jack Ma and the future of Chinese's tech entrepreneurs! ;) ~ MK

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Author: Ching Lam Ip, Programme & Marketing Lead, Garage Society