Flying start for Alibaba

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If Jack Ma had said “We want to be bigger than Walmart” a decade ago, few would have taken him seriously. But when he said the same thing to CNBC’s anchors last Friday, plenty of people were ready to believe it could happen. The founder of the e-commerce giant was speaking just after trading opened in Alibaba’s stock. The shares surged 38% on debut – giving the Chinese firm a market capitalisation of $231 billion, larger than Procter & Gamble, reports the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper later said that the IPO’s greenshoe allocation had been exercised, meaning the IPO had raised $25 billion in total, a record for a new listing. Ma told CNBC he was keen to earn investors “trust” and “take care of them”, and promised the era of greatest growth lay ahead. He also predicted that China’s e-commerce industry would ship 200 million packages a day within a decade, versus the 27 million that are daily shipped now. Alibaba currently enjoys an 80% share of China’s e-commerce market.

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