Feeds

Alibaba stands firm against Hong Kong exchange over IPO

Firm battles to keep management in control after it goes public

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Chinese tech biz Alibaba has revealed details of its internal partnership structure, which would allow a group of founders and senior employees to keep control over the board after the company goes public.

Founder Jack Ma spilled the details in an email to employees, according to Reuters, adding to pressure on Hong Kong to accept the structure if they want to see what could be the biggest tech IPO since Facebook's $16bn listing last year.

The Hong Kong market is not generally fond of dual-stock structures, which ensure that certain people have control of a company by giving their shares more voting power than outside investors.

Ma said in the email that 28 senior employees would have the right to nominate the majority of the board and that this structure was intended to "safeguard the culture of innovation" and protect the firm from the "temptation to seek short-term gains". He denied that the partnership was aimed at exerting "greater control over the company".

Alibaba has been lobbying the Hong Kong exchange and local regulators to allow it to keep the partnership structure despite the fact that the market has previously resisted the efforts of companies to treat any shareholders differently.

If the parties can't reach an agreement, Ma may decide to take the IPO to New York, where tech firms have been successful in implementing dual-class voting shares to retain control after going public.

Ma said he was "not concerned about where to go public, but we do care that wherever we end up going public must support this type of open, innovative, responsible culture that values long-term development." ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.