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Chairman Jack Ma (Kin Cheung / AP Photo)

Shares of Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce and mobile pay company, are up 85% this year, catapulting it alongside the big U.S.-based tech icons as a global juggernaut.

  • Led by its charismatic founder, Jack Ma, Alibaba is now worth $392 billion, moving up on Amazon, whose market value is about $475 billion and share price is up about 27% this year. Alibaba shares rose 2.7% on Thursday alone.
  • It's not quite Amazon: Alibaba commands an estimated three-quarters of on-line sales in China, but its $7.4 billion in second-quarter revenue was dwarfed by Amazon, which reported $38 billion, five times as much.
  • But why it still matters: Alibaba's quarterly revenue, reported Thursday, was up 56%, and profit increased by 94% — to $2.17 billion — from a year ago. Alibaba has more than 500 million monthly active users for its online shopping apps, per the NYT, 42% more than the entire U.S. population. Similar to Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, Ma is enormously ambitious, pushing into competition, for instance, with Amazon, Microsoft and Google for business in cloud services.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.