Alibaba (BABA), the global leader by volume in the e-commerce sector, issued a record-shattering $25 billion IPO in September 2014. (For context, the highest IPO before Alibaba went public was $19.8 billion in July 2010.) Likened to Amazon, eBay, PayPal, and Google all rolled into one, some Wall Street analysts believe Alibaba will continue to grow as a game changer in the global e-commerce industry. Alibaba announced its Q2 2018 earnings on November 2, 2018. The global e-commerce company reported $12.4 billion in revenues this quarter, compared to $8.29 billion over the same period last year.

Here's how the company does it. First, Alibaba has gained control over the Chinese e-commerce market in a way that no other company has been able to, with a reported 80% of online retail sales in China going through the company. Second, Alibaba offers a suite of products for storefronts that want to compete in the e-commerce market. The company's key business segments include mobile media and entertainment, cloud computing, and core commerce along with other developing initiatives. As of November 2, 2018, those business segments have earned the company a market capitalization of $391.13 billion. The company's shares stand at $151.26 as of November 1, 2018 market close, well-beyond their post-IPO market price of $115, but still below its all-time high of over $205 achieved in June 2018.

In 2018, Alibaba has grown to be not only one of the largest companies in China but also in the world. Here are the Alibaba's five largest individual and institutional shareholders as of November 2018.

Holder % Shares Outstanding
Softbank 29.11
Yahoo! 14.95
Jack Yun Ma, Executive Chairman 7.0
Joseph C. Tsai, Executive Vice-Chairman 2.5
T. Rowe Price 2.2

Softbank and Yahoo! have significant interests at 29.11% and 14.95%, respectively.  These two entities, in addition to founder and Executive Chairman, Jack Yun Ma, have controlling interests in the company.  Softbank is an information technology company based in Japan, with four main segments: mobile, Sprint, fixed-line, and internet. The internet division operates Yahoo! Japan and engages in e-commerce. Yahoo!, which holds 14.95% of BABA shares outstanding, is a technology company located in the United States. It is well known for its Yahoo! search and mail options as well as its websites, such as Yahoo! finance.  

The next two largest shareholders are company insiders, both with the company since its founding days in 1999. First is Jack Yun Ma, Executive Chairman, who owns 178.3 million ordinary shares or 7.0% as of June 2017 according to the company's annual report. Second is Joseph C. Tsai, Executive Vice-Chairman, who owns 65.1 million ordinary shares or 2.5%  as of October 2018. The American financial company and active mutual fund manager T. Rowe Price rounds out the fifth spot with 2.2% ownership in Alibaba.