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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/7/2014 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Filing may be among the largest in U.S. history

The Alibaba Group, China's goliath E-commerce company has filed registration documents this week to go public in the U.S. Analysts say this may very well be one of the biggest initial public offerings in American history.

Founded in 1999 by former English teacher Jack Ma, Alibaba has expanded far and above its original blueprint as a web marketplace for Chinese companies.

Founded in 1999 by former English teacher Jack Ma, Alibaba has expanded far and above its original blueprint as a web marketplace for Chinese companies.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/7/2014 (11 months ago)

Published in Business & Economics

Keywords: Alibaba, China, e-commerce, public offering


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Many Americans have yet to hear about Alibaba - except a famous storybook character and his 40 thieves. This week's F-1 filing gives a clearer look into a business that accounts for a whopping 80 percent off all Chinese e-commerce.

Alibaba will rank among the world's largest technology firms, shoulder-to-shoulder with IBM and Oracle, once it goes public. Analysts recently polled by Bloomberg News valued the company at nearly $170 billion, while some expect that valuation to surpass $250 billion, once it starts trading.

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"Although the value of Alibaba has been focused on the strength it has in the e-commerce space and its ability to expand outside of China, it is worth noting that the company has great potential to grow in the domestic market," Nicole Peng, research director for Canalys China says. "And at this point an IPO is important to support its accelerating expansion."

The exact size of the IPO remains a deep secret. Many expect Alibaba to raise more than $15 billion in a public offering which may still be months away. Alibaba has used a $1 billion placeholder on its registration papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission - which is just being used to compute filing fees, said a spokesperson for the company. Alibaba also did not include details on how many shares it would be selling or its valuation in its paperwork, though those details will be disclosed in the days leading up to the IPO.

Founded in 1999 by former English teacher Jack Ma, Alibaba has expanded far and above its original blueprint as a web marketplace for Chinese companies. Coupled with China's rapid economic growth within the last decade, Alibaba has developed an all-encompassing retail ecosystem. The company offers payment systems to cloud computing services, all with the purpose of supporting its main e-commerce plays including Taobao Marketplace and Tmall.

Alibaba late last year had 231 million active buyers on its site, up 44 percent from the previous year. Alibaba also showed a strong position among mobile users, accounting for more than 75 percent of all Chinese retail done on mobile devices with 19.7 percent of its business coming from phones or tablets.

"For many Chinese consumers, [Alibaba] has provided a transformative experience, giving them access to products they would have never seen," Duncan Clark, chairman of BDA China said. "What all of this did was create the architecture for e-commerce in China."

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