Those of us in the West have been using ecommerce sites lite Amazon and eBay since the dawn of the internet in the mid-1990’s, but as is often the case those who start second learn from others mistakes and are even more successful.  Today every chain retailer has an ecommerce site but there are a few giant Chinese companies that are poised to take over the world so in this article we explain Alibaba vs Amazon.

There are dozens of highly successful ecommerce players in the Chinese market but we have decided to ignore (for now!) some giant competitors like, and that are not expected to have a notable presence in Canada or the United States.

China is not kidding around and their companies are fierce competitors that you may not have heard of yet… but you will:


The original successful ecommerce behemoth based in the US with global operations run by an aggressive American with eyes on every prize.

amazon dot com

What is eBAY

The original auction site describe by many as the worlds largest garage sale, that has frittered away its giant lead in many fields including online payments, business to business sale and everything China.

ebay dot com


Founded as the fourth (yes, 4th!) successful business-to-business giant the grew to be number one through the efforts of its visionary and humble founder Jack Ma and backed by Japan’s SoftBank.

Alibaba dot com

What is TAOBAO

AliBaba’s version of eBay that they developed into a success turning eBay China from the largest play to a completely lost cause in just two years.

taobao dot comWhat is DHGATE

Founded by former Microsoft, Cisco manager Diane Wang, the name DHgate refers to an important point on Silk Road linking the China to the rest of the world, that provides a platform for Asia Pacific companies to sell to consumers and is now the largest business to business platform in China.

dhgate dot comWhat is BANGGOOD

Following the success of Alibaba’s Taobao, Banggood saw an opportunity to provide a platform for the millions of small and medium sized Chinese businesses to sell online to consumers, and has now grown to have serious warehouse operations in China, Australia, Europe and California.

banggood dot com

What is TMALL

Another Alibaba Jack Ma success, Tmall is the exclusive shopping site for validated (read: no knock offs) high quality major brands in China which costs tens of thousands of dollars per year for companies to operate on.

tmall dot com


Yet another Jack Ma global expansion project, AliExpress is the global version of much like eBay.

aliexpress dot com

Easy Comparison Grid: Amazon vs Ebay vs Alibaba vs TaoBao vs DHgate vs Bangood vs Tmall vs AliExpress



Year Founded19941995199920032004200620082010
Pricing ModelFixed PriceMostly AuctionFixed – NegotiableFixed – NegotiableFixed – NegotiableFixedFixed – NegotiableFixed – Negotiable
Primary MarketGlobalGlobal – not ChinaGlobalChinaGlobalGlobalChinaGlobal
Founded ByJeff BezosPeirre OmidyarJack MaJack MaDianne WangArron ChenJack MaJack Ma
CEO in 2020Jeff BezosScott SchenkelJack MaJack MaDianne WangArron ChenJack MaJack Ma
Parent CompanyAmazoneBayAlibabaAlibabaDHGateBanggoodAlibabaAlibaba
Listing FeesYesSeldomFree to StartNoNo?LargeYes
Sales FeesYesYesNoNoYes?YesYes
Who Pays Sales FeesSellerSellerSellerSellerSeller?SellerSeller
Minimum Order Size11Usually>10011111
Number of Staff750000140001020004005684500400500
# of Warehouses175Just transit173 – VideoSee AlibabaSeveral37 GlobalSee AlibabaSee Alibaba


Global Sales USD$90B$22B$55BLargeLarge$.35BMassiveLarge
Number of Listings12M1.3B?1B33M?50M100M
Number of Sellers2M25M1M60M2.2M?.2M?
Number of Buyers300M182M10M660M26M?500M60M
Country of OriginUSUSChinaChinaChinaChinaChinaChina
Pref.Payment ProxyCreditCardPayPalAliPayAliPayPayPalPayPalAlibabaAliPay
Shipping CostsOften freeOften FreeMixedUsually FreeOften freeUsually FreeUsually FreeOften Free


Business to BusinessYesNoYesNoYesYesNoNo
Business to ConsumerYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYes
Consumer to ConsumerNoYesNoYesNoNoNoYes
Buyer protectionUsuallyYesLimitedUsuallyLimitedLimitedYesYes
Private label productsYesNoYesNoNoNoNoNo
Delivery Time to US UK Canada1 Day< 5 Days15-60 days15-60 days5-60 days15-60 days15-60 days15-60 days


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