Alibaba confirms US IPO launch

Summary:The Chinese Internet giant's IPO launch could be the biggest among Internet companies in history, even overtaking Facebook's US$104 billion valuation.

Alibaba, China's biggest e-commerce company, announced on its official social media account on March 16, 2014 that it would launch its Initial Public Offering in the U.S., ending the long-brewing suspicion of going public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The IPO , which could well exceed US$100 billion, is expected to rank as the biggest of the year, exceeding Facebook's IPO of US$104 billion, according to a on Sunday.

The Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong, regulator of the city's stock exchange, had turned away the potentially record-breaking IPO by red-lighting Alibaba's proposition of a "partnership system" for its share structure, designed to retain founder and former CEO Jack Ma's control over the company.

"The Hong Kong market today needs time to research on and digest the administrative structural renovation of a startup company," said Alibaba's current CEO Lu Zhaoxi during an event in 2013. "We decided not to go public in Hong Kong."

Meanwhile, Alibaba said that the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ have both showed support for an IPO in the U.S. , and both have confirmed in writing that the "partnership system" was in accordance with American regulations.

"Alibaba decided to commence the process of going public in the U.S. today, it not only makes the company more transparent and international, but realizes the company’s long-term vision and goal," the company said in an announcement.

According to the report, the higher level management, including Jack Ma, holds 10 percent of the company's shares, while Yahoo and the Japanese-owned SoftBank Corp hold 24 and 36 percent respectively.

Topics: E-Commerce, China


Liu Jiayi is a Hong Kong-based writer and editor. He produces video stories for Al Jazeera English and Seven News Australia, and also worked as the video editor for the Hong Kong-San Francisco Ocean Film Festival 2012. He is studying under a Master of Journalism Programme at the University of Hong Kong.

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