1688.com is a list of B2B suppliers owned by the Alibaba Group. Like Alibaba.com, 1688.com is a portal where you can find factories, wholesalers, and trading companies in almost every industry.
Thus why is it called 1688.com and not Alibaba.com? In Chinese, 1688 is pronounced “Yao Liu Ba Ba,” which is somewhat like Alibaba.
Substituting words for numbers with similar sounds is common in China and throughout Asia.