The Chinese e-commerce platform Alibaba said over the weekend it plans an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange.
Analysts predict the IPO could fetch as much as $15 billion for Alibaba, which oversees a reported $150 billion in merchandise transactions annually, more than eBay and Amazon combined.
Alibaba has seen enormous year-over-year growth since it began operating in 1999, and has spawned a number of e-commerce related offshoots. According to news agencies, Yahoo owns nearly a quarter of Alibaba, whose unique management structure has created roadblocks in its attempts to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
While e-commerce demand in China, and Asia in general, has grown exponentially in recent years, experts say e-commerce companies in the region have yet to be profitable, due to high service-level demands from customers and poor final-mile logistics infrastructure. The issue is particularly complicated in far-flung, hinterland locations where e-commerce is the only way consumers have access to certain retail goods.