Alibaba is celebrating its first day as a publicly-traded company on Wall Street, and to put it lightly, it wasn't half bad.
Even dubbing Alibaba's IPO as groundbreaking or unprecedented might even be downplaying the event.
After planning to launch at, the Chinese tech giant opened on Friday morning at a whopping $92.70 per share.
Alibaba closed out Friday at $93.89 a pop, up 38 percent since the opening bell.
Suffice to say, Alibaba had its best day ever...well, thus far.
Now the real work begins as the company attempts to become the global juggernaut it wants to be, which either starts or ends with getting American consumers (not just analysts and investors) to start buying.
Alibaba has been making a number of moves to bolster its bottom line while courting Wall Street as well as Silicon Valley, fromto opening the doors to a .
Known in the United States primarily for its association with Yahoo (which is poised to bank billions now thanks to a substantial investment years ago), Alibaba is an eBay-meets-Amazon and then some kind of business.
Alibaba owns Taobao Marketplace, China’s largest online shopping business, as well as Tmall, the country's largest third-party platform for brands and retailers. As boasted by the company itself in the F-1, "Alibaba is synonymous with e-commerce in China."
Most of Alibaba's revenue derives from online marketing and ads. Other revenue streams include membership and transaction fees, value-added services, and cloud services.
All of this is impressive on paper, and it's obviously been substantial enough to get shareholders onboard to back up a valuation of more than $200 billion and counting.
But that growth can only be sustained if Alibaba moves into new markets -- namely the United States. That's much easier said than done as most Americans are not familiar with Alibaba beyond having the largest IPO ever, if they're even aware of that.
Amazon already has the e-commerce market cornered as far as the whole online "everything store" is concerned. Alibaba is going to need to embark on a massive marketing campaign to mix up the mindshift if it has any hope at cracking the U.S. market anytime soon.
Alibaba started on this journey when it filed its F-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in May amid hopes for an IPO worth up to $20 billion -- chump change in hindsight given it rose $21.8 billion after the roadshow.
Certainly, many companies (tech ones, especially) see the enthusiasm for their stocks taper after a few months. Facebook stood out as a scapegoat (largely due to errors on Nasdaq's part), but it eventually bounced back. Others like Zynga have not been as lucky. Twitter's entrance last fall was arguably the most watched tech IPO before Alibaba, but the social network has also suffered a few bumps in the months since then.
Given the diversity of its portfolio and substantial customer base in Asia, Alibaba is likely going to have an easier time afloat and follow the path of Google, Apple, and Amazon.
Still, once the love fest dies down, Alibaba's role on the global tech stage will finally become more apparent in the coming months.