Alibaba's IPO filing speaks volumes

The prospectus is short on financial detail but it does shed more light on the complex business and the unconventional shareholder structure that so outraged Hong Kong.

So this is what Hong Kong is missing.

Alibaba has finally put some meat on the bones of its proposed initial public offering in the US not Hong Kong, of course.

The message contained in the Chinese ecommerce group’s listing prospectus, lodged with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, is that Alibaba is not just big, it is also complicated.    

Jack Ma’s spaghetti junction of businesses could raise as much as $20 billion through the IPO, with analysts expecting the group to be valued as much as $250 billion once it starts trading, according to some media reports....

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