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Alibaba is bigger than Amazon and eBay combined - and it's going public

Alibaba is bigger than Amazon and eBay combined - and it's going public
Photo courtesy of SHUTTERSTOCK

Have you heard of Alibaba ? No? You're not the only one, but trust me, you will know it soon.

It's a huge tech company (and household name) in China. And when I say huge, I mean it. It's the largest e-commerce company in the world, made up of two main websites: Taobao and Taobao Mall.  But that's not it all Alibaba is about. According to Mashable:

Alibaba's investments also extend well beyond traditional ecommerce. It has invested in a Chinese department store operator, mobile messaging app Tango and Weibo, China's version of Twitter which recently went public. It is also reportedly in talks to get back a stake in Alipay, a payment service like PayPal.

Now that we have that out of the way, here comes the big news: Alibaba has filed for a $1 billion initial public offering (IPO), in what could become the largest tech IPO in history.

Why is this important you ask? Well, first off, it's strange that a company in China would file paperwork for the IPO in the United States, but that's because Alibaba is looking to expand and there's lots of investors in the States.

The Alibaba IPO is coming at a time when investor sentiment for the tech sector has weakened thanks in part to sky high valuations. That could change if Alibaba proves to be a strong IPO ... At the very least, it will have a notable impact on Yahoo, which as a 24% stake in Alibaba and stands to net as much as $10 billion from the Alibaba IPO, depending on how it prices. That could give Yahoo and CEO Marissa Mayer the additional resources needed to make some big acquisitions.

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