Alibaba was founded in 1999 by Jack Ma and his team in his small Hangzhou apartment. Their intention was to create an e-commerce platform and ecosystem that could help Chinese small-medium enterprises export their products to global markets. However, in the early 2000s, e-commerce was still in its infancy. In China, buyers and sellers eyed each other with great suspicion. To solve this problem, Alibaba invented Alipay as a payment intermediary for Taobao. Taobao is a Chinese business-to-consumer shopping website set up by Alibaba in 2003. Once Alipay receives the purchase amount from a buyer, it would instruct the seller to ship the goods. After receiving confirmation of delivery to the buyer, Alipay releases the funds to the seller. Much like PayPal, Alipay gets a processing fee for acting as an intermediary. On 18 September 2014, Alibaba’s IPO was priced at US$68. It managed to raise US$21.8bn on the New York Stock Exchange, making it the largest IPO in history at that point.