China's Alibaba confirms plan to list in HK

Updated: 2007-07-30 15:29

BEIJING -- China's biggest e-commerce company Alibaba has submitted its first initial public offering (IPO) application to the listing committee of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and may become the largest high-tech share on the Hong Kong bourse.

Alibaba's Chairman Jack Ma confirmed the news in the company's annual meeting over the weekend.

Tao Ran, a company spokesman, said there was no timetable for the market listing and also declined to disclose any details of the IPO.

But analysts say the IPO might raise 7.8 billion Hong Kong dollars and take the company's total market value to more than four billion U.S. dollars.

If the market listing succeeds, the total equity value of the Alibaba Group, the umbrella company of,,, Yahoo! China and, would exceed 10 billion U.S. dollars, overtaking its rivals Tencent, Baidu and Netease, they said.

The listing is expected to create a number of millionaires as its employees hold a large proportion of the company's shares, analysts say.

The top three largest shareholders of the company are Yahoo! Inc who controls a 40-percent stake; Jack Ma and his management, a 28.2-percent stake; and Softbank, 16 percent.

Calling the listing "the biggest challenge" has faced since its establishment nine years ago, Ma said going public was like refueling a truck so it can reach its destination.

"Our final goal is not to float the company but to create a great enterprise," he said.

The company will use the fund to expand its global business and optimize its online trading services, the Shanghai Securities News reported on Monday, citing well-informed sources.

The company headquartered in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province, has evolved into the world's leading business to business marketplace in nine years and owns more than three million members from 200 countries and regions.

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