January The first Freshippo store is launched, marking the debut of Alibaba’s proprietary grocery retail chain, as part of the New Retail initiatives.
Jack Ma tours a Freshippo supermarket in Shanghai
March Alibaba Group generates more than RMB3 trillion in fiscal year 2016 GMV on its China retail marketplaces and becomes the largest retail commerce company in the world in terms of GMV on the basis of publicly available comparable transaction value data.
April Alibaba Group acquires a controlling stake in both Youku, a leading online video platform in China, and Lazada, a leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia.
July Alibaba Group hosts the inaugural Taobao Maker Festival to showcase the creative ideas and designs of Taobao merchants to the world.
The inaugural Taobao Maker Festival
September The concept of an Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) initiative envisioned by Jack Ma is endorsed by G20 leaders.
November Alibaba Cloud announces the opening of four new data centers in the Middle East (Dubai), Europe (Frankfurt), Australia (Sydney) and Japan (Tokyo).