Alibaba, China's biggest e-commerce company, is going public and will list its IPO on a U.S. stock exchange. The transaction is expected to be the largest Internet deal since Google, a big win for U.S. markets and could give retail start-ups a healthy boost.
"Alibaba and other foreign domiciled companies, once public, create a bigger pool of buyers for U.S. startups," John Backus, founder and managing partner of New Atlantic Ventures, told Inc. "More buyers means more 'liquidity' in the buyer market, and can also result in higher prices if more than one of [the investors] gets interested in buying a startup."
Alibaba is also in the early stages of launching an online-shopping site in the U.S. called 11main which will offer fashion, technology and jewelry from online merchants. The sellers will be "hand-picked shop owners," the company told Reuters. Other reports indicate that sellers were carefully selected from eBay to participate in the pre-launch phase.
Analysts estimate that Alibaba's IPO could possibly raise up to $15 billion in the biggest initial public offering since Facebook which was the third largest IPO ever at $16 billion. Alibaba has not yet made a final decision on an exchange.
Alibaba is one of the world's biggest Internet companies with more than $150 billion worth of merchandise bought and sold through its online platforms each year. Alibaba operates Taobao.com, China's largest consumer-to-consumer e-commerce site similar to eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY), and Tmall.com, a business-to-consumer site similar to Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) with more than 70,000 international and Chinese brands available from more than 50,000 merchants. The company also operates a business-to-business sales platform and an online payment platform like PayPal.
Watch out Amazon, here comes Alibaba
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