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China Businesses The Almighty Buck United States

Alibaba Confirms Plans To Offer IPO In US 93

Posted by samzenpus
from the big-guns dept.
hackingbear writes "China e-commerce giant Alibaba Group confirmed early Sunday that it plans to become a public company in the US. The proposed US IPO, which is expected to raise more than $15 billion, is a bid winning over Hong Kong stock exchange, which had been competing for the offering with US stock exchanges but objected to some of Alibaba's proposed listing terms. Founded in 1999 by former English teacher Jack Ma, the Hangzhou, China company, of which Yahoo owns 24%, provides marketplace platforms that allow merchants to sell goods directly to consumers controlling 80% of Internet e-commerce market in China."
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Alibaba Confirms Plans To Offer IPO In US

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  • by techno-vampire (666512) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @07:06PM (#46501433) Homepage
    I presume that the Alibaba Group has forty directors running it, and that every single one of them has "sticky fingers."
    • by SpankiMonki (3493987) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @07:38PM (#46501611)

      LOL...good one. Wish I had a mod point.

      In actuality, the Alibaba Group has 28 partners, and they are at the heart of the reason why the HKEx is refusing the IPO.

      The listing terms that the HKEx finds objectionable are centered around the proposed structure of the company, which would allow their 28 partners to control a majority of the board [reuters.com] - even though they only own around 13 percent of the company.

      Apparently, the HKEx regulators still cling to the quaint notion that small investors are important. I guess those HK guys have a thing or two left to learn about how real capitalism works.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I guess those HK guys have a thing or two left to learn about how real capitalism works.

        Are you referring to the kind of Capitalism we saw with Facebooks IPO? Stellar example indeed! A model in corruption is not something to boast about.

      • by khallow (566160)

        Apparently, the HKEx regulators still cling to the quaint notion that small investors are important. I guess those HK guys have a thing or two left to learn about how real capitalism works.

        Here, the Alibaba Group would be dirtying the pool for everyone. HKEx has better things to do than expedite one company's con.

      • by Animats (122034) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @10:21PM (#46502359) Homepage

        The listing terms that the HKEx finds objectionable are centered around the proposed structure of the company, which would allow their 28 partners to control a majority of the board - even though they only own around 13 percent of the company.

        Apparently, the HKEx regulators still cling to the quaint notion that small investors are important. I guess those HK guys have a thing or two left to learn about how real capitalism works.

        There was a time when the New York Stock Exchange didn't allow that, either. They caved about a decade ago. Now, both Google and Facebook have two class "president for life" stock issues.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mutantSushi (950662)

        The listing terms that the HKEx finds objectionable are centered around the proposed structure of the company, which would allow their 28 partners to control a majority of the board [reuters.com] - even though they only own around 13 percent of the company. Apparently, the HKEx regulators still cling to the quaint notion that small investors are important. I guess those HK guys have a thing or two left to learn about how real capitalism works.

        Non-voting shares are pretty standard in public stock corporatio

      • What do you mean? They would be "small investors" if they only own 13%, but they control the company...they would be the most important investors.

    • by EvilSS (557649)

      I presume that the Alibaba Group has forty directors running it, and that every single one of them has "sticky fingers."

      Actually, doesn't Yahoo own a chunk of Alibaba? I know they are tied up somehow.

  • Well if this gives Ebay a run for its money, I'm all for it.
    • by cdrudge (68377)

      With Ebay, it's always a gamble as to what exactly you're getting and the condition you'll get it. But it usually will get to you within a week. With Alibaba, it's a gamble as to what exactly you're getting, the condition you'll get it, AND how long it will take to get to you (if it ever does).

  • No better place to get unlicensed [alibaba.com] Segway clones [alibaba.com] and other IP violating products.

    • Yea, because they don't have anything like that on ebay... oh wait... http://www.ebay.com/itm/Segway... [ebay.com]

    • by asmkm22 (1902712)

      That's not a problem with Alibaba. It's an issue with China, in general. They've never been very good at original thinking, at least not in the last few hundred years. They have been good at imitation, however. Probably because they make all the legitimate stuff for us. I imagine trade secrets and product specifications flow pretty freely between manufacturers in that country.

      • by Dr Max (1696200)
        Japan tried the same trick for a decade or two, before then taking over the industries they were imitating.
      • by nospam007 (722110) *

        "That's not a problem with Alibaba. It's an issue with China, in general. They've never been very good at original thinking, at least not in the last few hundred years. They have been good at imitation, however."

        Did they steal industry equipment and Nazi rocket scientists in WWII too?

        • Yeah, right, a few guys with expertise in a narrow area getting US passports is great comparison for the kind of lack of inventive thinking you see in China.
    • Are for losers. Some of us dont believe in them. At all.

    • No better place to get unlicensed Segway clones and other IP violating products.

      I suppose because Segway the first fairly successful version, no one else can make one? I seem to recall that the idea here of Mac clones were touted as perfectly acceptable, but of course Apple is Evil.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Alibaba’s portals handled gross sales of $170 billion in 2012–that is more than eBay and Amazon’s gross sales combined. [forbes.com].

    Alibaba is HUGE. Every US online retailer should be scared. Alibaba has the potential to take them ALL down.

  • Opions from China (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Opinions from customers of Alibaba in China are, from what I've heard, that their delivery service leaves a whole lot to be desired. Considering that for growth they'd have to expand outside of China, and compete with Amazon's seemingly unstoppable growth and awesome customer service, with a business model that covers both direct sales and third party listings almost seamlessly, I'd not bet be entirely willing to be on Alibaba. I'd wish them luck, I want someone to compete with Amazon. But I'd not place mon

  • by frovingslosh (582462) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @07:28PM (#46501559)
    I made the error of buying a few items through Alibaba. Everything is either misrepresented, falsely speced, defective or counterfeit. While Alibaba maintains the pretext of settling disputes with the thieves, they always side with the thieves, so much so that the thieves don't even bother to dispute customers claims, they know that Alibaba always sides with them anyway. Avoid buying anything through Alibaba or buy one share of stock, if you can manage to go to the shareholder meeting and try to hold people accountable.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 16, 2014 @08:08PM (#46501761)

      Alibaba are understand good seller and all for American company and abroad. As Amwerican many buyer I estanblish Alibaba as best.

      John R. from America

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If they IPO in the US they will have to be held accountable to consumer protection laws. Right now the credit card companies are holding the bag for incorrect items delivered, and faulty merchandise. About 1/2 of the Items I have ordered from them have actually arrived and 1/2 were actually the product I ordered. I ordered 16 186500 batteries once and received 64 AA batteries. I charged back the order with my credit card company.

      • Alibaba is mostly (possibly entirely, I don't know how much if anything they sell on their own account) the middleman. I'd be fairly surprised if they don't make it past 'consumer protection' (such as it is) pretty much entirely unscathed. Maybe they'll even add an abusive mandatory binding arbitration clause!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Mod parent overrated. Cheap things are cheap. I've purchased heaps of things and when there were problems alibaba stepped in and refunded me without me lifting a finger to do so. Goods were not shipped in a timely fashion and I was refunded. Pretty much everything has been as described (albeit in poor english).

    • So Ebay, but with lower transaction fees?
    • I guess it's a bit of a crapshoot if you get a bad seller, but the fact that prices are 1/4rd of what you'd pay to buy something similar domestically is a pretty good lure.

      I've ordered twice from Ali Express -- once for a RTL2832 tuner, and once for a mini-Gorillapod knockoff. Both times I received exactly what the page advertised, in perfect condition and they continue to work great today.

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      I've had success with everything I bought through Alibaba. Everything was exactly as listed on the packet, cheap Chinese crap, no different from what you get from eBay. None the less every bit of low quality gear I've bought from them has worked as long as expected.

      Or did you actually think you were going to get top quality products for the prices you were paying?

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      They are find if you just remember that everything, and I mean everything, is fake. Anything with a brand name is a knock off, but you pay 1/10th the normal price for it if you can put up with that. Anything without a brand name on it is also a knock-off, they just didn't put the fake brand sticker on it.

      You can get some good stuff. Cheap electronics modules for hobby use. Surplus equipment, including rare stuff like nuclear batteries or old satellite equipment. I have a bladeless fan that looks exactly lik

  • TFS/TFA indicate Alibaba is going to raise money through an IPO and be listed on a US stock exchange . No indication they are going to move into retailing in the US. Yet.
  • Which they don't follow. http://www.investopedia.com/te... [investopedia.com] There's ALL sorts of games you can play with revenue recognition alone.

    Anyone here want to rely on Chinese accounting practices? http://www.chinaaccountingblog... [chinaaccountingblog.com]

    There are no securities laws in China similar to those in the US that require transparency so investors know what they are buying.

    Hell, this will be a great IPO, just flip it on the first day. Make your profit and watch it crash.

    And now to illustrate: the classic accountant's joke.

    There onc

  • by gwstuff (2067112) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @11:00PM (#46502499)

    When Steve Jobs gave his first iPhone demo, I had my doubts when he claimed that you didn't need stylus pens with touch screens. Seeing the frenzy with which people wanted iPhones in the coming months, I decided to make an investment and buying a large quantity of stylus pens, whose price I expected would rise. I approached several vendors on Alibaba. The process was surprisingly smooth - most of the vendors seemed to have communication reps who were nice to talk to/interact with and knew their stuff very well. The prices were insane. I could buy pens that could be purchased for $30 in the US for 10 cents a piece, if I bought then in bulk. For another 5 cents I could brand them, and for another 10 I could customize them. So I ended up buying 100k of them and having them shipped to a warehouse in Philadelphia, where I rented some space out for ~$50/month. My most memorable feeling from this experience was not the profit I made (not that much, it looks like a lot of other people had the same idea as I did...) but realizing how easy it was to get something custom-manufactured half way across the world, have 100s of thousands of pieces hauled across on boats to a few miles from where I live. Something Marco Polo would have marveled at... Alibaba is only the front end to an unbelievable system of proxy manufacturing.

    • by guises (2423402)
      So how did you go about selling the pens that you had? I realize that it's not the relevant part of the story, but you've gotten me all curious.
      • by gwstuff (2067112)

        I lacked information at the time, so I explored a number of fronts. It was clear that shipping and handling was going to be the biggest overhead in the business. Something like - 50 cents / pen, $5 -- $15 for shipping and handling, depending on the route I would take. There was also the question of whether to sell to retailers or to end consumers -- I opted for the latter and simply listed my product on Amazon. Shipping and handling would have been much easier today because nowadays Amazon offers managed pl

        • by guises (2423402)
          Huh. Well thanks, that side of business has always seemed opaque to me. That's easier than I expected, I'll keep that in mind if I get a hunch one day.
    • by advid.net (595837)
      I'm also curious : "how did you go about selling the pens" ?
      Can you answer to guises (2423402) please ?
    • by Belial6 (794905)
      What I marvel at is how Chinese sellers can manufacture and ship a product from China to anywhere in the US via the USPS cheaper than I can ship the same product to the next city over.
  • I don't know what ratio of "Internet e-commerce market in China" is export vs internal consumption but the average Chinese person has little knowledge of Alibaba, they use Taobao. The basic point if the article is still valid as Taobao is part of the Alibaba group.

    Making an online purchase is pain inside China if you don't speak Chinese. Alibaba Express is for export only, so blocks China as shipping destination. Inside China you are expected to use Taobao, but Taobao is Chinese language only.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Taobao is amazing. You can buy anything there. See people using Taobao, they are really effective, instant messaging directly with the seller drag'n'drop your item in the message, delivery time in many cases is a couple of hours, if you live in one of the big cities. It is a really smooth experience. It beats anything I have seen in the west so far. But of course, if you can't speak Chinese..
    • That's (perhaps) a shame, but hardly unusual. Most web sites only support the local language - so just as most US web sites only support English and most Japanese web sites only support Japanese, one would expect that naturally most Chinese web sites would only support Chinese. To put it another way - what percentage of potential TaoBao users inside China would know another language (say English), but *not know* Chinese? Let's say well less than 1%? If Japan is anything to go by, only 1.7% of the populat
      • by ukoda (537183)
        Yea, I would agree with that. I don't see any need for Taobao to change, it's for internal consumption so one language is fair. However general speaking I can't see any reason why Alibaba Express blocks internal sales, they had to go to the extra step of removing China from the long list of countries you can pick from. The only possible reason I could think of is because the Chinese government probably has different processing requirements for internal trade and exports and allowing Alibaba Express to do
  • Yahoo is getting more lift from this than her brilliance so far.
  • Yes, at first I read the headline to mean that Alabama would have an IPO!
  • In case you're not familiar, Allibaba is where they sell illegal ripoff counterfeits (that are marked as such), low quality electronics that break instantly, and where basically every seller is a scammer and doesn't speak english or have a customer support department. Yeah...that'll show Amazon what's what. This is going to make the impending Facebook and Apple stock crashes look small by comparison.

I find you lack of faith in the forth dithturbing. - Darse ("Darth") Vader

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