Alibaba announced today that its sites Tmall and Taobao Marketplace have combined to surpass RMB one trillion in annual sales, which is roughly equal to $157 billion. It's not as much as Walmart, but for e-commerce, it's pretty huge.
The company hit the milestone on November 30. In a post on Alibaba's Alizila blog, Jim Erickson writes:
Speaking on Dec. 1 at a panel discussion in Hangzhou, China, Alibaba Group Chairman and CEO Jack Ma noted that only two companies—Alibaba and U.S. retailing giant Wal-Mart—have ever recorded annual transaction volumes greater than RMB 1 trillion (or the equivalent in U.S. dollars).
Wal-Mart's revenues totalled $444 billion last year, so the Alibaba websites—which unlike Wal-Mart do not sell goods directly but act as online marketplaces for millions of large and small merchants—still have some catching up to do.
But Ma said achieving the RMB 1-trillion mark means Alibaba will this year surpass Amazon and eBay to become the largest e-commerce company in the world by annual GMV (Gross Merchandise Volume, a measure roughly equal to gross sales). "It's very likely that next year, our transaction volume will be bigger than all the American e-commerce companies combined," Ma said.
Total retail sales in China (including brick and mortar) were RMB 18.39 trillion last year.