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How lacrosse-playing Tsai became Alibaba's mega-dealmaker

By Bloomberg in New York ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-09-01 06:44:09

At 4:30 am on a May morning in Hong Kong, Joseph Tsai gathered with three other executives of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. With the US stock market just closed, it was time to submit the Chinese e-commerce giant's prospectus for an initial public offering likely to be the largest ever in the United States.

As bottles of champagne awaited, each executive typed a word of the company name on a computer. All four then hit the send button, submitting the 340-page document that officially began the IPO process that will culminate in a few weeks.

While Chairman Jack Ma is the visionary founder of Alibaba, Tsai, the vice-chairman, is the guy who stays up until 4:30 am to execute that vision. Yale-educated and a former lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, Tsai's job now is to convince investors to buy the stock of a Chinese company that analysts say is worth almost $200 billion, making it the most valuable Internet firm after Google Inc.

How lacrosse-playing Tsai became Alibaba's mega-dealmaker

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