Business / Companies

Alibaba and the 20,000 believers

By Yan Yiqi (China Daily) Updated: 2014-09-29 06:57

According to an Alibaba document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the company had issued 26.7 percent of its shares to current and former employees.

Zhou said that those who have worked with the company for more than three years are eligible to claim shares. She reckoned that no more than 65 percent of them have shares. Alibaba has more than 20,000 employees.

Although the company did not reveal employees' individual shareholdings, there seemed little doubt that the IPO would put billions of dollars into thousands of hands.

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However, Li Wenji of the company's PR department, said the media had overestimated the fortune Alibaba employees will have.

"It is true that high-level executives will benefit a lot, but not everyone has shares. Most basic level employees are newcomers."

But at least one real estate company in Hangzhou seemed to be in no doubt that the wealth the IPO had delivered to many of Hangzhou's residents would make them likely prospective customers.

Days before Alibaba's offering, Zhejiang Dahua Real Estate Development Co posted an advertisement online saying that "my neighbor Ma went to New York to ring the bell", indicating that Alibaba's chairman has bought a house in a residential complex the company has developed.

Hu Yanhua, general manager of the developer's marketing department, says one of its strategies is to advertise the company's newly developed complexes.

"Ma and high-level executives of Alibaba account for 20 percent to 30 percent of the complex's tenants, and with the company's listing, more of its employees will be thinking of buying homes."

Hu says the development is a terrace complex aimed at medium-and high-end buyers, and every terrace enjoys great privacy.

"The complex is only a block away from Alibaba headquarters and I reckon it will be their first choice," Hu says.

The company has also drawn up advertising campaigns aimed specifically at Alibaba employees, she says.

"The marketing strategies will focus on the high-end of the complex, because that's what they would be looking for given how much money their shares have delivered them."

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