Alibaba’s Billions Beyond China

As more data emerges about e-commerce giant Alibaba in the run-up to its IPO Thursday (September 18), it is becoming increasingly clear the size and scope of the company’s reach

AliExpress, the  online marketplace  created in 2010 to facilitate sales to overseas consumers from Chinese businesses  brought in $4.5 billion in sales between June 30, 2013, and June 30, 2014, Alibaba executives told investors this week, reports Internet Retailer.

Alibaba takes in a 4.5 percent commission on on AliExpress sales and charges additionally for marketing services.  The foreign facing arm of the business has doubled its revenue in second quarter from Q2 2013–from $29 million to $58 million. While a rapidly growing section of Alibaba’s business, it is a small part–overall the company sold over $80 billion in goods.

That said, a small part of Alibaba’s business is still worth $4.5 billion annually, which would make it as large as LatinAmerica’s MercadoLibre marketplace and Rakuten–Japan’s largest we shopping mall.

Alibaba says the growth in sales on AliExpress comes from the increasing number of buyers, particularly from the United States, Russia and Brazil.

Further tapping the international market, Alibaba also launched in June an online shopping portal called where U.S. merchants and U.S. consumers can interact.