7 Years Post-IPO, A Look At Alibaba's Journey And Road Ahead

Alibaba Completes 7 Years Of Going Public In US: A Look Through Troubled Journey And What's Ahead For The Tech Giant

On Sunday, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA) completes seven years of being listed on the New York Stock Exchange. On Sept. 19, 2014, the company’s shares closed at $93.89 on debut, up 38% from the IPO price — the Jack Ma-founded Chinese conglomerate has come a long way since.

Humble Beginnings: Ma, a former English teacher, founded Alibaba 22 years ago on June 28, 1999.

In a 2006 interview with CNN, Ma revealed why he choose the name Alibaba. “One day I was in San Francisco in a coffee shop, and I was thinking Alibaba is a good name. And then a waitress came, and I said do you know about Alibaba? And she said yes. I said what do you know about Alibaba, and she said 'Open Sesame.' And I said yes, this is the name!”

Ma told CNN the company also registered the name AliMama “in case someone wants to marry us!”

But before there was an Alibaba, there was China Pages, a company that Ma told CNN was probably the first internet company in China. China Pages’ mission was to let the world know about Chinese companies and it was started by Ma with a $2,000 loan from his brother-in-law.

Alibaba's18 founders cobbled up $60,000 to start the business in 1999, as per Ma. By the time Alibaba was listed on the NYSE, in one of the world’s largest IPOs, the company had acquired a market value of $231 billion. That offering raised $25 billion.

Ma stepped down as Alibaba CEO in 2013 and currently the company is led by Daniel Zhang. In 2018, Zhang was chosen to succeed Ma as the executive chair of the Alibaba Group. 

In November 2019, the company listed its shares in Hong Kong amid growing tensions between the United States and China over trade and other matters.

A Burgeoning Behemoth: Today, Alibaba is worth $424.9 billion in terms of market capitalization. It is the second-largest company in China behind the Shenzen-based Tencent Holdings Limited (TCEHY) — a tech and internet giant. 

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William K. 2 months ago Member's comment

It is never a wise move to be critical of those in power in the country of China.  Those in power DO have far more power than leaders in the free world, because China is indeed a police state, and as such the freedom to speak is limited. This is important to understand while anywhere within China or its influence. This is not a critisizm, only a caution reminder.