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  • China's Alibaba May Surpass Amazon and eBay in Merchandise Volume

    September 8, 2012

    Reuters reported recently that China’s largest e-commerce firm, Alibaba Group, expects to sell merchandise this year worth more than that sold by Amazon Inc and eBay combined. The Reuters report is based on comments made in early September by Alibaba’s chief strategy officer.

    Alibaba’s founder, Jack Ma, said last year that Taobao’s transaction value for 2012 would reach 1 trillion yuan. The company has not said what percentage of online sales come from Taobao, but it is the crown jewel of the Alibaba Group and its profit engine.

    “From their annual reports we did a rough calculation and we were similar last year but we are growing faster than them this year, so this year we are probably larger than them,” Alibaba’s Zeng Ming said of Amazon and eBay, America’s top online retailer and auction site.

    “The gap is just going to get bigger and bigger when we grow faster,” he said.

    The company is aiming for 3 trillion yuan ($473 billion) in annual transaction value from its Taobao e-commerce units in the next 5 to 7 years, Zeng Ming added.

    As part of a recent deal with Yahoo, there are incentives for Alibaba to list its shares by December 2015. The company has said there is no timetable for a listing.

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