The biggest Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the history of the New York Stock Exchange occurred recently.
Have you heard of Alibaba? Had you heard about Alibaba before last month? Have you already forgotten about Alibaba after it didn’t carry over to a fresh news cycle? When someone mentioned it to me last month, all I thought of was the Beastie Boys song.
- Google, Amazon, PayPal and eBay all rolled into one
- A wholesale marketplace; Alibaba is the middleman the connects retailers/sellers directly to customers/buyers
- Alibaba is the top dog in the largest e-commerce market in the world
- Capitalizing on the Chinese consumers’ desires to shop online, for cheap, with trustworthy retailers/merchants
- 80% of China’s e-commerce is done through Alibaba
- Domination of the world’s largest growing market paired with international expansion has Wall Street drooling
So China’s biggest internet cash cow has gone public on stock market. Yahoo is the biggest American company to directly benefit from Alibaba’s IPO success as the two are very much in bed together, on the level, and in public NOT under the table. In fact, Yahoo has benefited so much from Alibaba’s success there is talk of them investing in and/or acquiring Snapchat.
What are potential problems with Alibaba?
- It’s Chinese, the communist government/central bank could throw a monkey wrench into the mix at any time, and already has
- The stock being bought isn’t actual stock in the company, but in their Cayman Islands shell corporation
- Is Alibaba-Mania a product of a new Dot Com Bubble? The question is worth asking.
Should you go out and buy as much Alibaba stock as you can afford? Well, if you’re a good investor, you should always asked yourself; what would Warren Buffett do?
As with most IPOs, if you weren’t ahead of the curve or a fan of the band before they were cool, the ship has mostly sailed on this one. What I find personally noteworthy about Alibaba, is everyone I know who invests and is well off because of it, wants nothing to do with Alibaba. Why? They all say the same thing; the Chinese government. How much is the government involved with Alibaba? How much influence do they have? How much transparency is there and how much of that can actually be trusted?
When the Head of the FBI goes on 60 Minutes and openly talks about the Chinese military attempting to cyber attack the US economy, one should be very cautious about investing in the Cayman Islands shell company of a Chinese internet marketplace with direct ties to the Chinese government.