Chinese web giants Weibo and Alibaba to float on US stock exchange

17/03/2014

Two Chinese internet giants, online retailer Alibaba and social network Weibo, both plan to float on stock market, as the country's booming digital industry begins to expand overseas.

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Alibaba, with more than 500 million customers and more than 800 million product listings, plans for a flotation in the US, saying the move will make it "a more global company".

Analysts predict that the listing will raise up to $15bn (£9bn)- the biggest share offering by a tech firm since Facebook's flotation in 2012.

"Alibaba Group has decided to commence the process of an initial public offering in the United States," the firm's statement said.

"This will make us a more global company and enhance the company's transparency, as well as allow the company to continue to pursue our long-term vision and ideals."

The move is expected to benefit Yahoo, which owns a significant stake in Alibaba and could see the value of its investment rise considerably.

The Alibaba group is The news comes two days after another Chinese tech giant, Twitter-like service Weibo, announced plans for a $500m US listing.

The Twitter-like service Weibo also plans to sell shares on the US stock market.

Weibo, owned by Chinese internet giant Sina, is looking to raise $500m (£300m) via the share sale.
However, the firm did not give details of the number of shares it plans to sell or the price range.

According to papers filed with the US regulators, it had 129.1 million monthly active users in December and generated revenues of $188m in 2013.

"A microcosm of Chinese society, Weibo has attracted a wide range of users, including ordinary people, celebrities and other public figures, as well as organisations such as media outlets, businesses, government agencies and charities," the firm said in its filing.

Weibo said its revenues nearly tripled in 2013 from a year earlier, as more companies advertised on the platform in an attempt to attract perspective customers.

The firm said it expects the trend to continue.

"We expect our advertising and marketing revenues to increase in the foreseeable future as we continue to introduce new advertising and marketing solutions and attract more customers," it said.

Read the Alibaba SEC filing here

Read the Weibo SEC filing here

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