Frequently Asked Questions

Corporate Information

What is Alibaba Group's mission?

Our mission is "to make it easy to do business anywhere." Our founders started our company to champion small businesses, in the belief that the Internet would level the playing field by enabling small enterprises to leverage innovation and technology to grow and compete more effectively in the domestic and global economies.

When was Alibaba Group founded?

Alibaba Group was founded in 1999 by 18 people led by Jack Ma, a former English teacher from Hangzhou, China. It began as an online wholesale marketplace for small Chinese exporters and entrepreneurs to reach global buyers.

Why is the company called "Alibaba"?

Jack Ma chose the name because it is well-known around the world and it can be easily pronounced in many languages. E-commerce is global so we needed a name that was globally recognized. Alibaba brings to mind "open sesame," representing that our platforms open a doorway to fortune for small businesses.

Where is Alibaba Group headquartered?

The principal executive offices of our main operations are located in the Xixi District of Hangzhou, China

Can the public tour the Alibaba Group corporate campus?

Currently, the Alibaba Group corporate campus, located in the Xixi District of Hangzhou, China, is not open to the public.

Where are Alibaba Group’s offices located?

We maintain offices in many countries and regions, including China, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United States and the United Kingdom. In addition, we maintain data centers in a number of countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Australia, Singapore, Germany, Japan and the United States.

How many people does Alibaba Group employ?

As of March 31, 2019, we had a total of 101,958 employees.

How do I learn about job openings at Alibaba Group?

To learn about our job openings, please visit the Careers page.

What is Alibaba Group doing to help the community?

We have always felt a responsibility to help solve problems in society, because that is implied in our mission – “to make it easy to do business anywhere.” For more information, please refer to our environmental, social and governance (ESG) report.

Business Operations

What is Alibaba Group’s core business?

Alibaba Group provides the technology infrastructure and marketing reach to help merchants, brands and other businesses to leverage the power of new technology to engage with their users and customers and operate in a more efficient way. Our businesses are comprised of core commerce, cloud computing, digital media and entertainment, and innovation initiatives. For more information on our key offerings, please visit the Our Businesses page.

Who are Alibaba Group's customers?

Our customers include both buyers and sellers on our marketplaces, and they discover, select and transact with each other on our platform. Buyers access our marketplaces free of charge. Buyers include consumers who come to our retail marketplaces to shop for anything anytime anywhere, as well as business buyers who use our wholesale marketplaces to source products for use in their own business or for resale. Sellers use our marketplaces to establish a presence on the Internet and market products and services to hundreds of millions of consumers and other businesses. Sellers include brands, retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers. We also provide cloud computing services to a wide range of customers including merchants doing business on our marketplaces, systems integrators, mobile app developers and digital entertainment companies.

What do you mean when you refer to the "Alibaba ecosystem"?

Given the scale we have been able to achieve, an ecosystem has developed around our platforms and businesses that consists of consumers, merchants, brands, other enterprises, third-party service providers and strategic alliance partners. At the nexus of this ecosystem are our technology platform, our marketplace rules and the role we play in connecting these participants to make it possible for them to discover, engage and transact with each other and manage their businesses anytime and anywhere. Much of our effort, time and energy is spent on initiatives that are for the greater good of the ecosystem and on balancing the interests of its participants. We feel a strong responsibility for the continued development of the ecosystem and we take ownership in this development. Accordingly, we refer to this as "our ecosystem."

How does Alibaba Group grow its business?

We aim to strengthen and expand our ecosystem in order to achieve long-term growth by:
- increasing active consumers and improving consumer experience and our wallet share through geographic expansion, new product and service categories, as well as by leveraging our data capabilities to better identify, analyze and serve their needs through personalization across channel;
- expanding product and service offerings to consumers beyond physical goods, including entertainment, healthcare, travel and local services;
- reinventing our platforms as go-to destinations for brands to lift awareness and affinity, manage and engage with customers, expand channels and innovate on products;
- applying data and cloud computing technologies in everything we do for our customers and for ourselves and creating value for merchants, brands, retail operators and other businesses in our ecosystem through online and offline integration, marketing and distribution, retail space reinvention and operational efficiency improvement driven by big data and world-class technology; and
- continuing to be an innovator in products and technology as well as an enabler of new business models and more efficient value chains for traditional industries that are facing challenges from digital disruption.

What is Alibaba Group’s long-term strategic goal?

Our long-term strategic goal is to serve two billion consumers around the world and support 10 million businesses to operate profitably on our platforms. We have embarked on three key initiatives to achieve this strategic goal: globalization, rural expansion and big data and cloud computing.

Investor Information

When was Alibaba Group's initial public offering (IPO)?

Alibaba Group went public on September 19, 2014 at a price of $68 per American depositary share (ADS), each representing one ordinary share of Alibaba Group.

Where is Alibaba Group traded and what is the ticker symbol?

Alibaba Group's ADSs are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol BABA. You may refer to the Stock Information page for further details.

What is the dividend policy of Alibaba Group?

We have no present plan to pay any dividends on our ordinary shares in the foreseeable future. We intend to retain most, if not all, of our available funds and any future earnings to operate and expand our business. Any future determination to pay dividends will be made at the discretion of our board of directors and may be based on a number of factors, including our future operations and earnings, capital requirements and surplus, general financial condition, contractual restrictions and other factors that the board of directors may deem relevant.

How can I receive updates on investor news concerning Alibaba Group?

Please visit the Investor Relations section and subscribe to our RSS feeds.

What is Alibaba Group's relationship with SoftBank Corp. and Yahoo! Inc.?

SoftBank Corp. has been our shareholder since 2000 and Yahoo! Inc. since 2005.

Financial Reporting

How can I get a copy of the annual report of Alibaba Group?

A digital copy of our FY2018 Annual Report, which contains the audited consolidated financial statements, is available here. We will provide a hard copy free of charge to our shareholders and ADS holders upon request. Requests should be directed to:

Investor Relations Department
Alibaba Group
26/F Tower One, Times Square
1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay
Hong Kong

How do I know when Alibaba Group releases its next financial results?

You may visit the Investor News and Events page to find out our upcoming results announcement date. Alternatively, you may visit the Investor Relations section and subscribe to our RSS feeds to receive updates.

When is the fiscal year end of Alibaba Group?

Our fiscal year ends on March 31.

Corporate Governance

Who sits on Alibaba Group’s board of directors?

Information on Alibaba Group’s board of directors can be found on the Board of Directors page.

What is the Alibaba Partnership? Who are the partners of the Alibaba Partnership?

For information on the Alibaba Partnership and the current partners, please visit the Alibaba Partnership page.

Who is on Alibaba Group's management team?

Information on Alibaba Group's management team can be found on the Leadership page.

Who is Alibaba Group's auditor?

Alibaba Group's principal external auditor is PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Where can I find more corporate governance materials?

You can view Alibaba Group's corporate governance documents here.

Contact Information

Who can I contact about investor-related issues?

If you are unable to find the information you are looking for about Alibaba Group on this website, please contact us.

How do I contact your customer service team?

Alibaba Group operates a range of businesses and each of them has its own customer communication channels. For the key contact information of our major businesses and affiliated entities, please visit the Customer Service Contacts page.