The country trails the United States and Japan in total e-commerce spending but is forecast by the Boston Consulting Group to take the No. 1 position by 2015.
Alibaba Group is privately held and doesn't report its finances. But the company said that on Nov. 11, an informal holiday in China dubbed "Singles Day" that has become a popular online shopping day, the 50,000-plus merchants on Taobao and Tmall.com took in a total of 19.1 billion yuan ($3 billion). That would be the biggest e-commerce day on record.
Yahoo paid $1 billion for its stake in Alibaba in 2005 and turned over control of Yahoo China. But the relationship grew strained as Alibaba grew quickly while Yahoo shrank in the face of competition.
In September, Alibaba paid $7.1 billion in cash and stock to buy back about half of the 40 percent of the company owned by Yahoo. The U.S. company still owns 23 percent of Alibaba.
Alibaba Group: www.alibaba.com