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Alibaba Group, the e-commerce phenomenon founded in 1999, is now considered to be the world's largest retailer, surpassing Wal-Mart last year . At the end of the last financial year, the company posted a gross market value (GMV) of 3 trillion yuan, about $476 billion . Still operating a myriad of online marketplaces and shopping sites, the group has also invested in and launched online payment, cloud computing and instant messaging services, to name but a few. Its founder, Jack Ma, has committed the company to creating 100 million jobs in the next 20 years . But what else do we know about this giant of Chinese and international business? - Alibaba was started by Ma from his apartment in Hangzhou. Full story

22 January