I first heard of Alibaba a few years ago. The story claimed it was the Chinese version of Google. A search engine. That was not correct. The following description comes from a website called The Search Engine List. http://www.thesearchenginelist.com/
"Alibaba.com - Claims to be the world's largest database of suppliers. Based in China, it is a marketplace of export and import, offers search, company directory, catalog, trade leads and more."
That makes it the Asian Amazon for whole sale. I think that is a better description. Take a look for yourself. http://www.alibaba.com/.