Taking online companies public became a monumental task when Facebook failed to sustain its initial public offering (IPO) on the first day the social networking site hit the market. Although the IPO raised $16 billion and became the third largest in US history, the value of the stocks continued to decrease.
Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce conglomerate part owned by Yahoo!, is rumoured to go public with an estimated worth of $190 billion, more than double Facebook’s worth on the first day of going public. If this was to happen, Alibaba would be second only to Google in online companies and with investments into mobile gaming and messaging, the company is not resting on just being second.
The company is described as a cross between eBay and Amazon as an online market place with 618 million online shoppers that purchase anything from luxury goods to electrical items. The company also runs Tmall, another e-commerce platform that attracted 400 million consumers on Singles Day, an annual online marketing campaign similar to Cyber Monday in the West. Tmall alone made $5.7 billion compared to the $2 billion Americans spent on the Cyber Monday equivalent.
Chinese spending power is unrivalled with a forecast of $540 billion next year in the e-commerce market. If Alibaba hits the stock exchange, UK investors should work to involve UK companies in the site to make the most of the potential revenue of this huge business.