Alibaba: Massive Chinese online marketplace based in Hangzhou handles more sales than Amazon and eBay combined, over $160 billion. Doesn’t sell directly to consumers, so profit margins can exceed 40%. Expected to debut in US at valuation exceeding $150 billion, with IPO proceeds potentially higher than $15 billion.
AliPay: Alibaba’s PayPal with over 300 million users in China, where the vast majority of consumers still don’t have credit cards. Launched in 2004, processed about $660 billion in transactions in 2012.
Autohome: Chinese auto information website popped over 75% on its first day of public trading in December.
AutoNavi: In February, Alibaba offered $1.13 billion to buy the remaining 72% stake it didn’t already own of this Chinese online map company. Went public on its own back in July 2010.
BAT: Common nickname for dominating triumvirate of Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent.
ChinaVision Media Group: In March, Alibaba purchased 60% stake in this TV and movie company for $804 million. ChinaVision’s content should power new Ali TV operating system and mobile gaming platform.
Chukong: Mobile game maker makes popular Chinese title Fishing Joy, attracting more than 200 million users. Plans to raise $150 million in US IPO later this year.
Hong Kong Stock Exchange: Alibaba only turned to the US for its IPO after negotiations with Hong Kong broke down over a corporate structure that includes super-voting shares.
JD.com: China’s second-largest e-commerce site behind Alibaba had over $16 billion in sales last year. Filed in January to go public in the US. In March, Tencent bought 15% stake for $214 million to leverage on its mobile platforms.
Jumei.com: Chinese cosmetics retailer mainly employs flash sales, generated $400 million in revenue in 2012. Plans to IPO in the US later this year at a valuation upwards of $3 billion.
Lei Jun: Chairman of YY and co-founder of Xiaomi. Net worth of $4 billion, #19 richest in China.
Robin Li (Li Yanhong): 45-year-old co-founder and CEO of Baidu. Net worth of $12.1 billion, #3 richest in China.
Richard Liu (Liu Qiangdong): Founder and CEO of JD.com, of which he still controls 46%. Net worth of $2.7 billion, #36 richest in China.
Jack Ma (Ma Yun): Main founder and Chairman of Alibaba. Net worth of $10 billion, #6 richest in China. 49-year-old former English teacher founded company in 1999 out of his apartment. On Forbes cover in April 2011.
Pony Ma (Ma Huateng): Founder and CEO of Tencent. Net worth of $13.4 billion, #2 richest in China.
Qihoo360: China’s largest Internet security provider with more than 460 million monthly active users. Also second to Baidu in search engine queries, and maintains growing mobile app store. Founded in 2005, went public on NYSE in April 2011. Current market cap exceeds $27 billion.
QQ: Instant messaging service owned by Tencent with nearly 800 million active accounts. Monetizes through games, music, shopping.
Qunar: Chinese travel booking service majority controlled by Baidu. Surged 89% on the first day of its November US IPO. Current market cap over $3.3 billion.
SoftBank: Broadband company (founded by Japanese billionaireMasayoshi Son) secured control of 37% of Alibaba based on a mere $20 million investment back in 2000.
Sogou: In September 2013, Tencent paid $448 million for a 36% stake in this Chinese web search company. Handles 5.5% of all Chinese search engine queries.
Sungy Mobile: Mobile app maker developed popular GO Launcher for Android. Stock up 140% from its November IPO.
Tencent: China’s largest publicly-traded Internet company by market cap went public in Hong Kong in 2004, now worth over $130 billion. Made most of money so far via games, also owns stake in American video game company Activision Blizzard . Now leveraging popular social networks/messaging services QQ and WeChat into mobile dominance.
TenPay: Tencent’s PayPal and smaller rival to Alibaba’s AliPay.
Taobao: Created in 2003, it’s now Alibaba’s biggest website, an online bazaar of 760 million product listings from about 7 million sellers. No fee for businesses to list products, just advertising. Most similar to EBay, but not an auction site.
Tmall: Alibaba website for larger merchants, including international brands (about 70,000). Charges fees for sellers, as well as percentage commission of each transaction. Taobao and Tmall accounted for more than half of all Chinese parcels delivered in 2012.
Joseph Tsai: Vice Chairman of Alibaba, helped found company in 1999. Taiwan-born, lived in US before moving to Hong Kong in 1995. Net worth of $3.7 billion, #9 richest in China, 50 years old.
V.I.E.: “Variable interest entity” is the complex investment vehicle that allows Chinese companies like Alibaba to skirt government regulations against foreign investors. China has given tacit approval for such rule-bending corporate structures so far, but risks remain.
WeChat: Tencent’s hit mobile messaging service (and WhatsApp rival) is spreading fast beyond China, with more than 350 million monthly active users. Monetizing with e-payments, gaming, and more.
Weibo: Chinese microblogging site most often compared to Twitter generated $188 million in revenue in 2013 from about 130 million monthly active users. Filed preliminary prospectus in March for $500 million IPO. Subsidiary of Sina Corp, which owns over 77%, and Alibaba, which bought a 19% stake for nearly $600 million in April 2013.
Xiaomi: Privately-held smartphone maker has gained market share with its Android-based operating system. Only founded in 2010, the company registered over $5 billion in revenue last year, plans to ship 40 million phones in 2014. Valued at $10 billion based on August 2013 funding round.
Yahoo: Owns 24% of Alibaba from initial investment in 2005 and has seen its own stock rise as a result. Plans to sell some of stake in the IPO.
Yu’e Bao: Alibaba/AliPay’s Internet money market fund launched in June 2013. Already has 80 million investors and deposits topping $80 billion, making it the fourth largest money market fund in the world. Boasts average account holder age of just 26 years old. Name means “leftover treasure.”
58.com: China’s Craigslist-like online marketplace netted $187 million in its October US IPO. Current market cap over $3.8 billion.