Speed Reads


Chinese tech behemoth Alibaba planning U.S. IPO

CC: By leighklotz

When Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba goes public in the United States later this year, it could raise up to $15 billion, valuing the company at up to $200 billion. "We expect it to be the largest tech IPO ever, the largest IPO of the year, the largest Chinese IPO of the year," Max Wolff, chief economist and strategist at Citizen VC, tells the Los Angeles Times. "It's a big number, probably a record-breaker by any metric."

Alibaba — which generates more sales and net income than Amazon and eBay put together — is just one of several Chinese companies going public in the United States this year; Weibo, China's version of Twitter, will begin trading on the NASDAQ Thursday, and Alibaba competitor JD.com filed for a $1.5 billion listing in January. (One cautionary note for Alibaba: Weibo raised $286 million in its U.S. IPO, selling fewer shares than expected at the bottom end of the projected share price range.)

Yahoo, an early investor in Alibaba, now has a 24 percent stake worth $42 billion. "Yahoo made a huge and, in retrospect, very smart investment in Alibaba when Alibaba was very small and Yahoo wasn't," Wolff says. As for Alibaba, they are preparing for the future by investing $692 million in the Chinese department store chain Intime Retail Group and leading a $280 million round of financing for Tango, a messaging app.