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Why China's tech giants fail to thrive beyond Great Firewall

Despite global ambitions, tech companies struggle overseas, suffer trust issues

HONG KONG -- China's WeChat messaging app and Taobao e-commerce site may be immensely popular at home, but the international market remains a challenge for these technology brands.

Alibaba Group Holding has its global ambitions. Jack Ma, founder of the Chinese e-commerce company behind such online marketplaces as Taobao and Tmall, talked last year about hopes of generating half of all sales globally. The reality is that Alibaba still derives more than 86% of its revenue at home.

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