Alibaba Group, the e-commerce phenomenon founded in 1999, is now considered to be the world's largest retailer, surpassing Wal-Mart last year. At the end of the last financial year, the company posted a gross market value (GMV) of 3 trillion yuan, about $476 billion.

Still operating a myriad of online marketplaces and shopping sites, the group has also invested in and launched online payment, cloud computing and instant messaging services, to name but a few. Its founder, Jack Ma, has committed the company to creating 100 million jobs in the next 20 years. But what else do we know about this giant of Chinese and international business?