Alibaba Group, the king of e-commerce in China, is dangling a deal that could turn into one of the biggest IPOs in history.
In a long-awaited move Tuesday, Alibaba filed for an initial public offering of stock in the U.S. that could surpass the $16 billion that Facebook and its early investors raised in the social networking company’s IPO two years ago.
Alibaba’s paperwork says it will raise at least $1 billion, but finance professionals believe that is a notional figure to get the IPO process rolling and say that the Chinese company’s ambitions for the share sale are much richer.
Although it’s not well-known in the United States, Alibaba is an e-commerce powerhouse that makes more money than Amazon.com Inc. and eBay Inc. combined.
It has helped drive the rise of e-commerce in China, a transformation that has given millions of households greater access to clothes, books and consumer electronics in a society that in the 1980s still required ration tickets for some supermarket items.
Paul Sweeney of Bloomberg Industries joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson with details.
- Paul Sweeney, senior Internet analyst for Bloomberg Industries.