Jack Ma appears on stage in a Michael Jackson outfit to celebrate his company’s birthday. Image Credit: AFP

1999: Jack Ma founds Alibaba with 17 other people in Hangzhou, China, with $60,000 (Dh220,350)

2000: Alibaba Group raises $20 million from an investor group led by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp.

2003: Ma creates Taobao, an EBay-like site where consumers barter with each other

2004: Alibaba creates Alipay, the online payments system that grows to become China’s largest

2005: Alibaba takes over operations of Yahoo China

2008: Taobao Mall (now known as Tmall) is created to allow merchants to sell to customers

2010: The Alibaba Partnership is established to ensure management control of the company

2013: Jack Ma steps down as CEO, remains as executive chairman

2014: Alibaba conducts world’s largest IPO, raising $25 billion when it lists in the US

2015: Current CEO Daniel Zhang takes the helm at the company on May 10

2016: Alibaba Pictures buys a minority stake in Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners, which owns DreamWorks Pictures

2018: Alibaba buys Chinese food-delivery leader Ele.me in a deal valued at $9.5 billion; it pays $750 million for a stake in the cinema division of Chinese firm Wanda Film