Alibaba Group is China's largest e-commerce firm, which is looking to have a massive year for 2012. The group expects to sell more merchandise than competitors Amazon and eBay, combined. This is according to Alibaba's chief strategy officer, Zeng Ming.
The group is aiming for around 3 trillion yuan ($473 billion) in annual transaction value from their Taobao e-commerce units in the next 5 to 7 years, says Ming. Jack Ma, Alibaba's founder, said that in 2011, Taobao's transaction value for 2012 would reach 1 trillion yuan. Alibaba have not revealed what percentage of online sales come from Taobao, but it seems to be the number one source of the company's profit engine.
Zeng talks of Amazon and eBay, America's top online retailer and auction site, respectively:
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. The gap is just going to get bigger and bigger when we grow faster.
In order to cut back on the voting power of foreign stakeholders found in Yahoo and Japan's Softbank Corp, Alibaba Group has spent the last two years in negotiations buying back most of the stakes held by Yahoo.