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Alibaba Groupi

Alibaba is the world’s biggest e-commerce group. Founded by Jack Ma, it owns Tmall.com and its consumer-to-consumer business Taobao.com.

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One of the biggest stars in Alibaba’s online retail empire, Tmall found its niche by selling foreign imports and premium domestic goods to Chinese consumers. The site hosts third-party merchants instead of selling directly to shoppers. 

November 11 is China’s Singles’ Day, a national online shopping feast. Started by Alibaba in 2009, its sales volume now is bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.  

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Ma Yun, or Jack Ma, is the co-founder and former chairman of Alibaba -- the ecommerce giant best known for the shopping sites Taobao and Tmall. A former English teacher, he launched Alibaba in 1999 from an apartment in Hangzhou.

In a move to strengthen its position in China's vast and increasingly competitive e-commerce market, Alipay has upgraded its mobile application for smartphones to a version that allows users to pay for purchases even when they are not connected to the internet.

Alibaba Group, the mainland's biggest e-commerce services provider, looks set to burnish its credentials with more foreign luxury brands after it forged an anti-counterfeiting pact with French fashion house Louis Vuitton Malletier.

Alibaba Group would cut the number of partners the firm has and bind them to a three-year share sale ban if Hong Kong regulators accept a controversial management structure that is blocking its potential HK$100 billion initial public offering, a source close to the listing authorities told the South China Morning Post.

"Commerce will only be a hobby," Ma, who stepped down as chief executive of the mainland's largest e-commerce company on May 10, told the South China Morning Post.

Alibaba Group chairman Jack Ma Yun predicts that the mainland's e-commerce market is entering a "golden age", which will see 30 per cent of total retail sales moving online in the next five years.

Senior finance executives of Alibaba Group, which is widely expected to be planning its initial public offering this year, held a closed-door discussion with a representative of the American exchange yesterday at an undisclosed venue in Hong Kong, two people familiar with the situation said.

Alibaba, which runs the popular online shipping site Taobao, is suing Officeplus Company for using the Chinese characters for Taobao in its company name.