You've probably heard of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (BABA - Get Report) , but there's a good chance you don't know what it actually does.

This is not just a Chinese version of Amazon (AMZN - Get Report)  or eBay  (EBAY - Get Report)  or PayPal (PPAL) ... it's all of those things and more.

Just look at Alibaba's e-commerce business. There's Taobao, which is China's largest online marketplace. It allows small businesses and individuals to not just sell items, but also provide product knowledge and lifestyle content.

Alibaba also runs more conventional consumer goods sites like Tmall which focuses on the Chinese market and AliExpress where you can shop here in the U.S.

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