On 28 Jun 1999, Jack Ma (Ma Yun), with 17 friends and students founded Alibaba.com, a China-based B2B marketplace site, in his Hangzhou apartment. In Oct 1999, Alibaba received a US$25M investment from Goldman Sachs and SoftBank.
Alibaba.com was expected to improve the domestic e-commerce market and perfect an e-commerce platform for Chinese enterprises, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs),
to help export Chinese products to the global market as well as to address World Trade Organization (WTO) challenges.
In 2002, Alibaba.com became profitable three years after its launch. Ma wanted to improve the global e-commerce system, so from 2003 onward, Alibaba launched Taobao Marketplace, Alipay, Alimama.com, and Lynx.