Alibaba, the largest e-commerce company in the world as measured by sales, announced plans on Tuesday to change the status of its shares traded in Hong Kong. This will make them more accessible to Chinese investors at a time when Beijing is pressing tech companies to share their wealth with the general public. Alibaba’s announcement comes at a time when Beijing is pressing tech companies to share their wealth with the general public.
By the end of 2022, it is anticipated that the main listing will have been completed in Hong Kong. If this occurs, Alibaba will become a business that is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as its primary listing.
Alibaba’s Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang said that the company was looking at adding another major listing venue in order to cultivate a “wider and more diverse investor base.”
Zhang stated in a statement that “Openness and variety are two traits that are shared by major global financial hubs like Hong Kong and New York,” and he compared the two cities. “We are completely confident in China’s economy and future, and Hong Kong serves as the launch pad for Alibaba’s international plan,”
Because of this move, millions of mainland Chinese investors will have access to Alibaba’s shares. This is because Alibaba’s shares could then be included in the Stock Connect investment channel, which enables mainland Chinese investors to buy stocks listed in Hong Kong and vice versa for Hong Kong investors and investors from other countries. The move will also give Hong Kong investors and investors from other countries access to Alibaba’s shares.
Alibaba’s move to pursue a main listing in Hong Kong comes at the same time as U.S. authorities have threatened to delist U.S.-listed Chinese businesses unless they follow auditing standards. This has, in turn, prompted a selloff of Chinese equities that are listed in the U.S.
The company, which has its headquarters in Hangzhou, completed a primary listing in Hong Kong in November 2019, after its successful initial public offering (IPO) in New York in September 2014, which was the largest IPO that had ever taken place at the time.
It was previously the darling of many technology stock investors, but as a result of Beijing’s regulatory crackdown on China’s technology sector, its stock price has plunged.
The price of Alibaba’s shares in New York has dropped by 47% over the course of the last year. Monday’s trading session ended with the company’s stock price at $101.06; this was before the news.