Amazon VS Alibaba: International Shopping Giants Better Compared

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E-commerce is one area that has left the world amazed mostly because people were of the opinion that it wouldn’t grow as big as it currently is right now. Well it is big and is getting bigger because today the most valuable company in the world started with Business to Business (e-commerce) and it is none other than Amazon; the second most valuable company in Asia is Alibaba which is also an e-commerce market place.

A Little History of Both Giants

Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos (world richest man) July 5, 1994, the company began by selling books, music, and videos in 1998, it soon entered the international space and acquired books online from UK and Germany. In 1999 it began selling video games, consumer electronics, home appliances, software, and even toys. From 2002 it expanded to providing analytics and research data for websites, so developers could track internet traffic patterns.

Amazon has made numerous acquisitions over its 24-year life span and one of its biggest acquisition is Whole Foods Market which increased its domineering presence and made it surpass longtime competition; Walmart.

Amazon now focuses entirely on e-commerce, cloud computing and versatile technology such as; AI. It is now one of the Big Four of technology (Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon).

Alibaba is the second most valuable company in Asia and is only surpassed by Tencent Holdings, it was founded by Jack Ma and his team of 17 friends and students on 4 April 1999, it is a China-based business to business (B2B) Marketplace. The motive of the marketplace was to improve the domestic e-commerce market and provide a platform for Chinese SMEs to export products to the global markets.

Alibaba became famous for being one of the factors that pushed eBay out of the Chinese market and also for having the good luck of receiving funding from institutions like Goldman Sachs, Softbank, and Yahoo. Alibaba has also made a couple of acquisitions and has shares in numerous real estate businesses across China.

Its Initial Public Offering was made in 2014 and it raised up to $21.8 billion making it the biggest US IPO in history. Alibaba like Amazon offers a lot. Let’s compare the products and services offered by these powerful brands.

AMAZON VS ALIBABA: PRODUCTS on its website offers a large variety of products like Books, DVDs, Music, CDs, Videotapes, software, apparels, baby products, consumer electronics, beauty products, food and groceries, health and personal-care items, kitchen items, jewelry, sporting goods, industrial tools, and equipment, etc. It has a number of products and services which include:

  • AmazonFresh
  • Amazon prime
  • Amazon web services
  • Alexa
  • Appstore
  • Amazon drive
  • Echo
  • Kindle
  • Fire tablets
  • Fire tv
  • Video
  • Kindle store
  • Music
  • Music Unlimited
  • Amazon Digital Game Store
  • Amazon Studios

Alibaba, on the other hand, has numerous products. Let us see if it outmatches Amazon; Its basic services are E-Commerce and retail services, on It has 3 basic services:

  • Sales between Importers and Exporters that cuts across 240 countries, it is a B2B platform.
  • The second is the Chinese portal; which manages domestic business to business transactions.
  • The Last is the retail transaction-based website that is probably its most popular platform:, it allows smaller buyers to buy goods at wholesale price.

In 2003 the Taobao marketplace was launched and it became China’s largest Customer to Customer marketplace.

Its e-commerce platforms are aligned below

  • Taobao
  • 11 Main
  • Cainiao
  • Lazada

Other Products and services owned by Alibaba are:

  • Cloud Computing and AI
  • Alibaba Cloud
  • AliGenie
  • AliOS
  • Tmall Genie
  • Financial Technology Products
  • Alipay now Ant Financial Services( World’s largest fintech)

Alibaba has other numerous products in entertainment, internet services and their very own Alihealth which is a health product.

For Alibaba and Amazon, there is always a need for expansion but for both businesses to maintain relevance they must diversify and integrate their services. Let’s see who among the two giants have more users.


According to data from Amazon has a total of 330 million users (total visitors) and Alibaba According to a February 2018 SEC filing, Alibaba has 617 million monthly mobile users and 552 million active users on its China retail marketplaces (Tmall and Taobao), it has 367 million users that make purchases worldwide.

You wouldn’t expect any less from China’s foremost e-commerce platform. The country alone has 1.4 billion persons as its population and 668 of these persons use the internet. The figures above should not be a surprise to us at all. Amazon, on the other hand, is trying its best to penetrate the Asian market in order to meet up- with the Numbers it can’t make up with its US users.


Amazon is the world’s largest public company but that is not solely because of e-commerce, its other services have gotten it to that point. In order to stay dominant and relevant Amazon acquires its competition or other companies that will help it stay ahead of its competition.

An example of its shark-like behavior; its acquisition of Whole Foods Market which aided it in solidifying its dominance over its arch competitor; Walmart. Alibaba, on the other hand, does more of partnerships or acquires stakes in major companies like Lazada in Singapore.


Both giants spoken of today are just amazing, they both started small and rose above the ranks to become international marketplaces. A necessary meeting point for buyers and sellers, they have bridged the gap of inaccessibility and availability and you can be sure you are buying quality products because they both take their time to ensure quality and prevent scandals.

In our obsearvation, Amazon is yet to penetrate the Asian market, and they are amazingly well. What do you think will happen should they finally succed?

What do you want to do? Tell us in the comments.
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