May 8, 2014
(Editor’s Note: This post is an excerpt from an article appearing in Practitioner Insights on WestlawNext)
China-based Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. filed with the SEC on May 6 to launch an initial public offering that is currently valued at $1 billion. Similar to many recent Chinese companies launching U.S. public offerings, the e-commerce company disclosed that a pending legal proceeding against five China-based accounting firms could adversely affect the company and legality of its financial statements.
Alibaba’s IPO continues a trend of Chinese e-commerce companies hitting U.S. public markets. Since September 2013, China-based companies that have launched IPOs include:
- 58.com Inc., which operates an online marketplace serving Chinese merchants and consumers;
- Autohome Inc., which operates an online automobile information platform for Chinese consumers;
- 500.com Ltd., which operates an online sports lottery service;
- Qunar Cayman Islands Ltd., which operates a Chinese online travel platform;
- JD.com Inc., a Chinese online direct sales company;
- Leju Holdings Ltd., which provides online-to-offline real estate services in China;
- Tuniu Corp., which operates an online leisure travel platform in China;
- Jumei International Holding Ltd., an online retailer of beauty products; and
- Zhaopin Ltd., which operates an online career platform in China.