Jack Ma, Alibaba’s founder, admitted on Sunday that he had never once used Taobao, the ebay-like flagship website for the ecommerce company he will be taking public later this year, writes Charles Clover and Ma Fangjing.

The odd sounding admission came in the middle of a rambling commencement speech to graduates of Tsinghua University on Sunday, in which he highlighted his humble origins and lack of professional experience. He needs to keep his emotional distance from his products, he said, so that he can make decisions about them objectively. And that apparently means not knowing how they work. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Alibaba, which filed for its US IPO on Tuesday, is frequently called the Amazon or eBay of China. But while there may be similarities in their business model, the online shopping experience for customers can be quite different indeed.

Here, a look at some of the things one finds on Alibaba’s various shopping platforms, how they differ from each other, and some of the ways in which they are vastly different from their western counterparts. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Alibaba on Tuesday submitted the first filing for its upcoming initial public offering in New York. Unusually for a private company, prospective investors already knew some of its key financial details, since Yahoo, its major shareholder, reports them as part of its quarterly results.

So what did we learn from the new filings? Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Alibaba’s shareholder list contains some well-known names from around the globe — from China and Japan to Singapore, Silicon Valley and Russia. Here is a breakdown and guide to the biggest names to profit from the listing. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba made its long-awaited filing for an initial public offering in the US, a deal which could ultimately top Facebook’s debut two years ago with an estimated $120bn valuation.

FT reporters delve into the details with live reaction and analysis. Read more

Alibaba is taking a minority stake in China’s largest online video site, Youko Tudou, as it prepares for its own blockbuster initial public offering in the US.

Youko Tudou said on Monday that the Chinese e-commerce group, together with its founder Jack Ma’s Yunfeng Capital, would jointly invest $1.2bn in the video site.

Alibaba will hold 16.5 per cent stake in Youku after the deal, with Yunfeng holding 2 per cent. Read more

The prospect of a US-based IPO by Chinese e-commerce juggernaut Alibaba has triggered a recent wave of short-term conjecture over the eye-watering figures involved.

A listing could garner as much as $25bn for example – making it the largest float in history. Wall Street banks could reap up to $400m in fees. Alibaba’s $170bn annual revenue now accounts for 2 per cent of China’s gross domestic product, and is bigger than those of eBay and Amazon combined.

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A man looks at the screen of his mobile phone at Pudong financial district in ShanghaiA new war is brewing between China’s three internet giants, known collectively as BAT – short for Baidu, the dominant search engine, Alibaba, which controls 80 per cent of China’s ecommerce, and Tencent, the gaming and social media juggernaut with a market capitalisation of $132bn. For Wang Ran, a blogger and founder of China eCapital, an investment bank, the competition between Didi Dache [“Honk Honk Taxi”], a Tencent taxi-hailing app, and Alibaba’s Kuadi Dache [“Fast taxi”] is “the first battle in the first world war of the internet”.

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Alibaba’s decision to head to the US for its blockbuster IPO – perhaps the world’s largest ever – is undoubtedly a major blow to Hong Kong’s global ambitions.

But chucking out years of hard-won progress for a single pay-day – with the risk of opening
the market to myriad potential problems down the road – would have been the wrong move.

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Shares in Hong Kong-traded Chinese electronics giant Haier are soaring, thanks to Alibaba.

FastFT reports that Haier said earlier Monday it had teamed up with Alibaba to develop its logistics business. Read more

Hannah Kuchler

By Hannah Kuchler in San Francisco and Arash Massoudi in New York

Any worries that Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce company, would not be able to list its shares in the US appear to have been put to rest. The company, which is preparing for an initial public offering in the coming months, has received assurances from the New York Stock and Nasdaq that the partnership structure for its expected share offering will be permitted under the rules of both exchanges. According to media reports confirmed by a person familiar with the matter, Alibaba will now be able to go public with the structure that the Hong Kong Exchange refused to accept. NYSE, Nasdaq and Alibaba declined to comment. Read more

China’s biggest ecommerce company, Alibaba, has joined the growing enthusiasm for cloud storage applications, buying Kanbox for an undisclosed amount.

Kanbox offers free storage for documents, photos and other files, bringing Alibaba into competition with other Chinese heavyweights Tencent and Baidu, which offer similar services. The company raised $20m in Series B funding two years ago, so the acquisition value is likely to have been several hundred million dollars. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Alibaba, China’s ambitious internet conglomerate, has spread its reach from e-commerce to finance, and now to internet television. Read more

The most interesting nugget in Yahoo’s second-quarter earnings presentation is arguably not the web portal company’s own performance; but rather that of Alibaba, the Chinese ecommerce company in which Yahoo holds a 24 per cent stake.

With Alibaba gearing up for its highly anticipated initial public offering, the eye-popping numbers revealed on Tuesday by Yahoo are a must read for any potential investors.

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Shares in Sina Corp, the Nasdaq-listed Chinese online media group, rose nearly 21 per cent during trading on Monday after the company said it had agreed to sell 18 per cent of Weibo, its Twitter-like micro-blogging service, to Alibaba Group for $586m. The two came close to a similar deal five months ago. Now they have tied the knot.

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Richard Waters

Yahoo just moved another step forward in its bid to control the end-game that has been taking shape around its future.

Silver Lake has agreed to enter into confidential discussions with the US internet company, making it the latest private equity firm to go this route – and potentially robbing Alibaba and Softbank of an ally as they consider making a play for Yahoo themselves. But it’s still far too early to call it “game over”. Read more

Joseph Menn

Ebay chief executive John Donahoe said the Chinese government  won’t let foreign-owned  internet companies win in that country, but added PayPal will nonetheless bend to fit new rules and stay in the market. Read more

Richard Waters

A leading US online media and communications firm owned and controlled from mainland China?

That spectre was raised on Friday by Jack Ma, head of Alibaba, as he announced his interest in buying Yahoo. After all the angst caused by US internet companies venturing into China in recent years, his declaration raises the possibility of an interesting reversal. Read more

Joseph Menn

Yahoo’s investment bank is “fielding inquiries from multiple parties” about various options that could include a sale of all or some of the company, according to an all-hands email sent Friday by Yahoo’s founders and chairman. Read more

Joseph Menn

Following through on its pledge earlier this week to weigh new strategic options even as it looks for a new chief executive, Yahoo and its bankers are already fielding inquiries. Read more