Monday, May 26, 2008

Alibaba Japan to list as well?

There's an interesting Reuters piece which appeared in various places over the weekend (here in the UK Guardian newspaper). The two key highlights of the article which focuses on the newly-constituted Softbank/Alibaba Japan venture are:

  1. The company expects to double its workforce in Japan by March next year. The article says the company "currently has 80 people in China and 35 employees in Japan dedicated to the Japanese site".
  2. More interesting is the suggestion from incoming CEO Makoto Kouyama, formerly of MySpace (a Newscorp JV with Softbank) that the company may go for a separate listing in Japan. The article quotes Kouyama saying "Softbank is regarded as a telecoms company, so if companies like Yahoo (Japan) stay under the blanket of Softbank without listing, no one knows how they are valued. It's hard to gauge the value of Internet companies like us unless we go out on the market. So in that sense, the possibility (of listing) is there."
This will be interesting to watch.

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