Alibaba doesn't sell its own products, but instead provides a commerce platform for millions of merchants. To generate revenue, it charges marketing fees from merchants, and takes a commission for products sold.
Alibaba is so popular in China that its two sites, Tmall.com and Taobao Marketplace, control over three-quarters of the country's online retail market, according to Beijing-based research firm Analysys International.
The fourth quarter also coincided with China's online shopping holiday on Nov. 11, when consumers bought $9.3 billion worth of goods from Alibaba sites, a jump from $5.8 billion a year ago.
The Chinese e-commerce giant makes over 80 percent of its revenue from its home market. But it also has sites targeting international buyers, which are growing as well. During the quarter, Alibaba's international retail business increased its revenue by 110 percent from a year ago. This was largely due to Alibaba's expansion of its online shopping promotion on Nov. 11 to its international AliExpress site.
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