Alibaba Hits Huge $157 Billion Annual Sales Milestone

    December 3, 2012
    Chris Crum

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.

Alibaba gross merchandise volume

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.