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The Alibaba Effect

The Alibaba Effect

Publicado em 13 de maio de 2014, na HBS.

Alibaba’s $200 billion mega-IPO is history-making in a number of ways. Bill Kirby and Warren McFarlan discuss what the deal says about Chinese entrepreneurship and American markets.

 by Bill Kirby and Warren McFarlan

Alibaba is about to make history with the first genuine mega-IPO of a Chinese entrepreneur-founded company in the United States. The numbers are historic as well—an anticipated market capitalization of some $200 billion.

It comes to the US rather than Hong Kong for the most old-fashioned of American reasons: to “raise capital and maintain management control,” which they couldn’t do in Hong Kong. Hong Kong believes in the principle that each share of stock is entitled to one vote. The US markets, on the other hand, proclaim that some classes of shares can have more clout than others. Thus, founder Jack Ma and his management team, who own a little over 9 percent of the company, can still retain control of its destiny. (Meanwhile, although Hong Kong stock market authorities are officially pleased to stay true to their rules and principles, we anticipate intense internal second guessing among them and probably an eventual change in policies and views. Losing Alibaba really stung.)

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