In the first half of 2018, more than 85 percent of all retail e-commerce
sales in China were shared by ten major market players. Recently, the market has witnessed the growth of several smaller e-commerce retailers like Pinduoduo and Gome. However, Alibaba has been consistently taking the top spot
over the years, with a 58.2 percent share of all retail e-commerce sales in 2018.
was originally launched in 1999 as a B2B e-commerce portal to connect Chinese manufacturers with overseas buyers. In 2003, the service expanded to include C2C e-commerce marketplace Taobao and in 2008 a B2C online retail platform Tmall which are the market leaders in their respective business segments.
In the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018, the Alibaba Group’s annual revenue amounted to approximately 39.9 billion U.S. dollars (a YoY increase of 58 percent) with a net income of 9.79 billion U.S. dollars. The company’s annual revenue from core commerce increased 60 percent to around 34.12 billion U.S. dollars, the highest revenue growth since the IPO. In 2018, Alibaba’s retail marketplaces recorded 28 percent YoY growth of the total gross merchandise value (GMV), driven by Tmall and its robust physical goods, GMV growth in apparels, FMCG, home appliances, and consumer electronics categories.