Amazon

Al Gore

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore gives a shout-out to Alibaba Group, noting that China’s largest e-commerce company generates more GMV than the combined total of America's Big Two. Plus, a new report says a handful of online shopping websites accounted for nearly half of the growth rate of China's 100 largest retailers last year.

Driven by rapid e-commerce growth in China's smaller cities and the success of last month's 11.11 Shopping Festival, annual sales volumes on Tmall and Taobao Marketplace, the country's two largest

Online retail and auction websites run by Alibaba Group companies are among the leaders in global Internet audience, according to comScore, an Internet research and marketing company.

For every breakout e-commerce success, there are hundreds–even thousands–of hopeful entrepreneurs whose vision never really took flight. What separates the stars from the also-rans?