The stock market had never seen an IPO like it. At $25bn, assuming the expected high demand leads the underwriters to sell the maximum of shares available, Alibaba’s launch on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday looked set to be the biggest stock sale ever. Jack Ma, the Chinese ecommerce company’s charismatic founder, was on hand for the celebration at the New York Stock Exchange as China’s richest man became 38 per cent richer. FT reporters Sarah Mishkin, Hannah Kuchler, Eric Platt and Sujeet Indap reported it as it happened. 

Tim Bradshaw

After weeks of hype, Apple’s big day is finally here: the iPhone 6 goes on sale in the US, UK, Hong Kong and other key markets (though not China) on Friday.

As ever, the Apple faithful are lining up outside its stores, after supplies of its supersized iPhone 6 Plus were exhausted in online preorders within a matter of hours last week. Most analysts predict pent-up demand for upgrades will push iPhone sales to a new record.

“Big” is the operative word all round. Apple has lent the FT both of the new iPhones and, after an evening playing with both devices, one conclusion feels obvious: the iPhone 6 Plus is just too big. Read more

  © Photo: Getty

If Google Glass didn’t exist, guys in Silicon Valley would be having affairs or buying unsuitable motorbikes – or so claim the “White Men Wearing Google Glass” Tumblr and Twitter feeds, which mock the device’s associations with unfashionable male geekery.

Now Google’s flagship wearable is a step closer to shedding its unflattering image: high-end online fashion sites Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter have started selling Glass to UK shoppers, the first third-party retailers to do so. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Don’t let anyone tell you that size doesn’t matter.

The first reviews are in for the latest iPhones and if there is one common obsession, it’s the undeniable fact that these are the largest iPhones Apple has ever made.

Here are a few highlights from reviewers’ first takes of the iPhone 6 and the supersized iPhone 6 Plus. (No sniggering at the back.) Read more

On Monday, the FT began publishing a three-day series about the growing international backlash against US technology companies.

The first part focused on how Silicon Valley has embarked on a charm offensive in the wake of growing concerns about their role in US government surveillance and how they use their customers’ data. Part two highlighted the situation in Germany, which is leading the European regulatory push-back against big US tech groups.

We included a survey with these stories asking readers how they have changed their online habits in the past year due to privacy concerns.

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Russian internet group Mail.ru has paid $1.47bn to acquire the 48 per cent of social media website VKontakte that it does not already own, ending a battle for ownership of Russia’s equivalent to Facebook. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Payments start-up Square is raising at least $100m in a funding round that valued the group at $6bn, up from a $5bn valuation earlier this year, according to a new company filing.

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At a conference this April, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, got chatting to Cherie Blair, a lawyer and philanthropist who is the wife of former British prime minister Tony Blair.

Fast forward five months, and the pair are now unveiling Facebook’s first partnership to promote entrepreneurship, among women who run businesses in the developing world. “I think this is the way women work – we wanted to see if we could cooperate to use Facebook and its technology to help women,” Mrs Blair said in a conversation with the FT.

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Buried under the avalanche of Apple announcements this week was the one that got the mobile operators pretty excited: an innovation that lets people use a WiFi connection rather than mobile signal to make calls.

On the face of it – like much of Apple’s news – it seems an old idea, with various services already on offer that allow people to make calls using WiFi. Three, the smallest UK mobile group, launched a service called InTouch this summer, while Telefonica’s O2 has offered TuGo for some time.

But, again like many of the advances unveiled this week, it is just being done better by the Cupertino-based technology group. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

The design of Apple’s Watch draws on the heritage of the iPod and iPhone but wears its history lightly. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Apple Unveils iPhone 6

Expectations are high as Apple prepares for its biggest event since the launch of the iPad four years ago. At the Flint Center in its Cupertino backyard, Apple is expected to unveil not just new iPhones but a push into payments and wearable devices. Tim Bradshaw and Richard Waters bring live updates from the event, with input and insights from other FT reporters around the world.  

Will the expected launch of a new iPhone later today – and perhaps an “iWatch” – give a boost to Apple’s share price or trigger a decline? Read more

Which is better value: Netflix or the BBC?

Some TV viewers – especially younger ones – seem to think the answer is Netflix. It has cool new shows, including House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. And a subscription costs UK viewers roughly half as much as the BBC – £6.99 a month, compared to the BBC’s licence fee, which works out at £12 a month.

But the BBC wants to knock down the Netflix-mania, at least when it comes to drama. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Paypal will soon start to enable merchants on its payments processing network to accept bitcoin, a sign of the growing acceptance and maturation of the volatile digital currency sometimes derided as magic internet money.

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Tim Bradshaw

Apple has sent invites out to members of the media for a September 9 launch event at which it is expected to unveil new iPhones and potentially a new wearable device.

The looming launch of what pundits have dubbed the iWatch will make this Apple’s most closely watched event since Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad in 2010. Read more

The clock’s ticking on the launch of Apple’s “iWatch” – expected on September 9 – and its Korean rivals are coming out ahead of time with their latest takes on wearable technology. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

The Kickstarter community has funded many innovations in the past few years.

The Pebble smartwatch raised $10.3m in 2012, shooting the starting gun on the wearables trend that Apple is about to leap into. The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset raised $2.4m, only to be acquired by Facebook for $2bn two years later. SmartThings raised $1.2m for its first connected-home kit before being snapped up by Samsung. New ideas like Hello’s Sense sleep-monitoring device just keep coming.

But one crowd-funded gadget this week emerged to trump them all. After two years at the top, Pebble has lost its crown as the most-funded Kickstarter of all time. And it has lost it to… a freezer boxRead more

Hannah Kuchler

Instagram takes pride in being more than just a corner of Facebook. The pretty photo-sharing app that Facebook bought in 2012 has maintained much of its independence while picking and choosing from the strategies that have served Facebook well.

Now, with the launch of super-fast video app Hyperlapse, it is becoming clear that Instagram will follow in Facebook’s lead and create its own suite of apps, or as it is becoming known in social media world, a multi-app strategy. Read more

If you thought flying a Flappy Bird was fiendish, just wait until you try swooping Swing Copters. So say new addicts of the latest free app from cult Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen, who this week overcame his famous revulsion at his previous creation to release what looks like another hit.

Droves of instant Swing Copters devotees took to Twitter Friday to bemoan how guiding the propeller-headed hero through a landscape of deadly swinging obstacles was even closer to impossible than navigating Flappy Bird’s famously exasperating arrays of killer pipesRead more

Rocket Internet, the Berlin-based investor in e-commerce companies, is continuing to expand its roster of stakeholders, as its valuation grows past €4bn ahead of an expected IPO later this year. Read more