NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Alibaba Group may have the biggest Web site business you never heard of but that will soon change. A common investor adage is "there are no coincidences on Wall Street" and Alibaba may turn into a good example. I'll explain why in a moment, but let's examine the participants.
You may not know about Alibaba's Web site Taobao.com or Alibaba.com unless you're involved in international commerce; however, Taobao is ranked in the top 10 sites on the web. Every day, legions more enter Taobao versus eBay (EBAY), Microsoft's Bing (MSFT), or Twitter.
Clearly, Alibaba is a leading player in the online world. So much so that gross merchandise sales through Alibaba's web portals are greater than eBay or Amazon (AMZN), and by some measurements, above and beyond eBay and Amazon combined.
Jack Ma, Alibaba's lead founder, unexpectedly announced in January that he was stepping down as CEO. In May, Jonathan Lu took the helm, and Ma currently serves as executive chairman. This is where the story becomes intriguing.At 48 years old, Jack Ma's self-made reported net worth is over a $3 billion. Ma is obviously a get-it-done kind of leader in the prime of his life. Ma had the perseverance to gain entry into the Hangzhou Teacher's Institute after failing the entrance exam at least two times. In 1995, Ma founded China Yellowpages, one of the first Chinese Internet-based companies, and in 1999 he founded Alibaba. In 2005, Ma convinced Yahoo! (YHOO) to invest $1 billion into his company (I recently wrote why that investment is paying off for Yahoo!). Today, Alibaba is the number one e-commerce site in China and the world based on total merchandise sold. Analysts' estimates for Alibaba start near $50 billion and move up -- not bad for a man who took more than one try to get into English school. Don't think for a moment that Ma is about to retire and fade into the sunset. In February, Ma was reportedly spending time in Silicon Valley seeking potential partnerships. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Amazon's shareholders don't seem to have received the memo that Jack Ma is in town.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV