Remembering when Alibaba was a tough sell

Everyone is keen to bankroll Alibaba today but just three years ago early-stage investors such as Silver Lake faced scepticism about investing in the Chinese ecommerce giant.

Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba is a market superstar but back in 2011 when US technology private equity firm Silver Lake first invested in the company, it wasn't such an easy sell.

Back then, the company founded by former English school teacher Jack Ma caused controversy when it transferred ownership of online payment platform Alipay to another company controlled by Ma, without the knowledge of major shareholder Yahoo.

There was a swirl around Alipay, the wonderful acronym VIE, and those kinds of things that were creating a lot of confusion, Kenneth Hao, Silver Lake's managing director told delegates at the Asian Venture Capital Journal's Forum in...

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