Alibaba Group Holding Ltd was incorporated in the Cayman Islands on June 28, 1999. The Company is a holding company and conducts its businesses through its subsidiaries. The Company is engaged in online and mobile commerce through products, services and technology that enable businesses to operate efficiently and extend their reach to sell to consumers and businesses in the People's Republic of China (the "PRC" or "China") and internationally. The Company provides retail and wholesale marketplaces available through both personal computer and mobile interfaces in the PRC and internationally. Retail marketplaces and services operated by the Company include: the China online shopping destination; the China brands and retail platform; the China group buying site that offers quality products by aggregating demand from consumers mainly through limited time discounted sales; and the consumer marketplace targeting consumers around the world. Wholesale marketplaces operated by the Company include the online China wholesale marketplace and the online business-to-business marketplace that focuses on trade among businesses from around the world. In addition, the Company offers cloud computing services, including elastic computing, database services and storage and large scale computing services, for the Company's own platforms and the platforms of the Company's related companies and for use by sellers on the marketplaces and other third-party customers. In addition, the Company makes available online payment processing services on its marketplaces through an arrangement with Alipay.com Co. It faces competition from Chinese Internet companies, such as Tencent, Baidu and their respective affiliates, as well as from offline retailers, in particular those offline retailers establishing e-commerce websites. It has approximately 323 issued patents and 837 publicly filed patent applications in China and 512 issued patents and 1,762 publicly filed patent applications in various countries and jurisdictions internationally.
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