Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group has officially become the world’s largest retailer, surpassing Wal-Mart, after it confirmed that its retail marketplace platforms surpassed 3 trillion yuan as measured by gross merchandise volume in the fiscal year ending in March 2016.

In a statement on the retail group’s website Alibaba executive vice-chairman Joe Tsai said that the milestone equated to 476 billion US dollars, adding: “That if the platforms were a province, they would rank as the 6th largest provincial economy in China”.

Alibaba said that the record-breaking gross merchandise volume shows that the world's largest retail marketplace has shifted from offline to online. "We used 13 years to demonstrate the power of a different business model compared with brick-and-mortar retailers," Tsai added.

Alibaba also added that its online trading volume accounted for 10 percent of the overall retail volume in China and it directly generated 15 million jobs.

Rounding off the statement, Tsai stated: “This milestone is just a gas stop, as we pause briefly to recognise the achievement, and look forward to the future.”

In 2012, Alibaba achieved 1 trillion yuan as measured by gross merchandise volume, which has been tripled in just over three years.


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