Alibaba.com is China’s largest business-to-business trading website for companies. On Tuesday, Alibaba.com saw its shares triple after its initial public offering rocketed 192% on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Alibaba.com sold 858.9 million IPO shares, or 17% of its enlarged share capital, in a deal handled by Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley. The stock performance raised $1.5 billion in the largest high tech offering since Google went public in 2004.
Founded in 1999 as a bulletin board for businesses leads, the Web site connects companies looking to import and export Chinese goods. The company said recently that at the end of June its online marketplaces had more than 24 million members.
The IPO is being closely followed because it is rare for an Asian technology company to decide to list in Hong Kong. In the past, such companies have typically sought to join the technology-focused Nasdaq in the US.
In 2005, Yahoo paid $1bn and contributed its own struggling Chinese internet business in return for a stake its Alibaba.
Alibaba is valued at $8.8bn, while Yahoo’s investment is worth $3.4bn.
The success of this business-to-business Web site is the most visible sign that the Internet is opening entrepreneurial opportunities in a way never before seen in China. With more than 162 million Internet users, China is close to surpassing the United States - and that's a fraction in a country with a population of 1.3 billion.
Alibaba.com business model is making it easier for Chinese manufacturers to run their businesses and to connect with companies around the world.