Alibaba Group is a Chinese multinational conglomerate specializing in e-commerce, retail, cloud computing, digital media and entertainment, Internet, AI and technology. Founded April, 1999, the company provides sale services via web portals, as well as electronic payment services, shopping search engines, and cloud computing services. Alibaba has agreed to acquire a 33% equity stake in Ant Financial, a company that provides payment and financial services to consumers and merchants on our platforms. It was founded by 18 founders, with the most notable one being Jack Ma. In 1999 - Alibaba Founded Alibaba was founded in 1999 by Jack Ma and a team of 18. They began operating out of Jack Ma's apartment in Hangzhou. They established Alibaba.com, an English language global marketplace. In 2000 - Alibaba Raises $20 million from SoftBank Alibaba raised $20 million from Softbank, as Jack Ma signed the agreement with SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son In December, 2001 - Alibaba outlines core values and surpasses 1 million users Alibaba Group clearly outlined its mission and corporate values, led by founder Jack Ma. The company also surpassed 1 million users in December of 2001. In May, 2003 - Taobao is founded Domestic online shopping marketplace Taobao is founded, while the company is still being run out of Jack Ma's apartment in Hangzhou. In 2004 - Alipay is founded, Alibaba raises record private equity investment Alibaba introduced its online payment platform, Alipay. The company also raised $82 million from a group of top tier investors, representing the largest ever commitment from private equity to a Chinese internet company. In 2005 - Alibaba signs strategic partnership with Yahoo! In addition to signing a strategic partnership with Yahoo!, Alibaba assumes control of China Yahoo!'s operations. In 2006 - Taobao University Launched The Taobao University program is launched, providing e-commerce training and education to both buyers and sellers. In 2007 - Alibaba completes IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange Alibaba raised $1.5 billion through its Hong Kong IPO. In 2008 - Tmall is launched, Alibaba R&D Institute founded TMall is launched as a complement to Taobao featuring third-party retailers. Alibaba's R&D Institute is officially founded. In 2009 - Alibaba 10th anniversary, Alibaba Cloud Alibaba celebrates its 10th anniversary by establishing Alibaba Cloud. The company also acquired HiChina, China's leading Internet infrastructure service provider. In 2010 - Taobao Mobile App Launched, AliExpress Alibaba launched the Taobao app for mobile, making e-commerce even more convenient. They also established AliExpress, enabling exporters in China to directly transact with consumers around the world. In 2011 - Alibaba Foundation Established Alibaba establishes the Alibaba Foundation which is a sizeable fund dedicated to social causes. In 2012 - Alibaba establishes Cainiao Network Alibaba establishes Cainiao Network together with a consortium of logistics companies to bolster its control of the supply chain and creating a closed loop ecosystem. In September, 2014 - Alibaba completes IPO on NYSE On September 19th, 2014 Alibaba made history with the largest IPO of all time. Listing on the NYSE, Alibaba raised $25 billion, valuing the company onto the stage of global giants in the internet age. In October, 2014 - Alibaba establishes Ant Financial Alibaba formally establishes Ant Financial Services Group that will operates Alipay, and provide a comprehensive set of other financial services. In February, 2015 - Alibaba Launches DingTalk Alibaba launches DingTalk, a group messaging platform, to meet the communication requirements of SME's. In June, 2015 - Alibaba announces Koubei Alibaba and Ant Financial together establish joint-venture Koubei to expand into the local services sector. In December, 2015 - Alibaba Acquires South China Morning Post Alibaba acquires one of Hong Kong's flagship media companies, the South China Morning Post. In April, 2016 - Alibaba Acquires a controlling stake in Lazada Alibaba purchased a controlling stake in Lazada, an e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia to expand its overseas presence. The move brought Alibaba's total investment in Lazada to $4 billion. In 2017 - Alibaba announces partnership with International Olympic Committee Alibaba announced a long term partnership with the International Olympic Committee through 2028. In 2017 - Alibaba Establishes Hema Supermarkets Alibaba launched its new Hema supermarkets which are a shining example of the "new retail" model. Hema stores are highly digitized, allowing for increased convenience for customers. In 2018 - Alibaba begins cooperation with Thailand, Rwanda and Belgium Alibaba started cooperating with Thailand, Rwanda and Belgium to help bolster the growth of their digital economy.
Jack Ma is our lead founder and, since May 2013, has served as our executive chairman. From our founding in 1999 until May 2013, Jack served as our chairman and chief executive officer. He is also the founder of the Zhejiang-based Jack Ma Foundation. Jack currently serves on the board of SoftBank Group Corp., one of our major shareholders and a Japanese corporation listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. He is also a member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum, chairman of the Zhejiang Chamber of Commerce, as well as chairman of the China Entrepreneur Club. In January 2016, he was named a Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) advocate by the United Nations. Jack graduated from Hangzhou Teacher's Institute with a major in English language education.