Black Friday Comes Early: Chinese E-Commerce Giant Goes on Sale

By Derek Hunter

Friday, September 19 stood to be the day when the biggest IPO in history went off, but this mega-tech company does not hail from Silicon Valley, and you probably have never used it. Alibaba is a Chinese E-bay-like service where small businesses and individuals can use its platform to buy and sell goods and services. Alibaba is breaking all the rules for its debut: as a tech company, it is listing on the NYSE, instead of the Nasdaq; it is allowing retail investors to buy shares on the first day (unlike Facebook or Twitter on their first day); and it is a Chinese company that eschewed Shanghai or Hong Kong for its opening.

Fortune Magazine provides a good overview of this historic IPO, which is projected to value Alibaba at $168 billion (with a “b”).