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back to article Alibaba float could make Facebook's look like small change

Chinese tat bazaar e-commerce and cloud giant Alibaba Group has finally announced plans to IPO, but in something of a surprise it will take place in the US rather than Hong Kong. The firm, which runs China’s hugely popular Taobao and T-Mall e-commerce platforms, could be valued as high as $200 billion and may even raise more …

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What fucking idiot ...

... would buy into anything like a tat-bizarre[0] based in Mainland China?

Honestly, the mind boggles.

[0] Not a misplelling.

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Re: What fucking idiot ...

Remember that industrial revolution thing in Britain that turned out to be quite a big deal?

Alibaba already has a lock on most new B2B into China, now imagine a consumer marker 4x the size of the USA that skips the whole mom-pop stores, main street and malls and goes straight from barter to online shopping.

How much is the entire shopping spend of a chinese middle class worth? A bit more than a free text messaging service used by a dozen californian teenagers

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Re: What fucking idiot ...

Well you say that, but people many thought to be "idiots" bought into Facebook, and after the initial hiccups its share price skyrocketed. That's not to say it'll stay like that for any length of time (it's on its way back down now), but for a company offering pretty much nothing of value it did quite well for a time.

Alibaba, however, actually has something of value to offer.

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Re: What fucking idiot ...

" What fucking idiot would buy into anything like a tat-bizarre[0] based in Mainland China?"

You mean the company that posted $792 million in profit in their last earnings report. To put that in perspective, America's favorite tat-bazaar, Amazon, only posted $274 million or about a third of Alibaba.

And those are actual profits, not "don't worry, we'll figure out how to monitise it someday" speculation.

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Alibaba actaully sells stuff?

I always thought it was some sort of search aggregator that got in your way when you were looking for places to buy something on Google when "Shopping" doesn't provide anything useful. At least the links I've followed just have a link for "contact supplier" and not for actually buying anything.

If that's worth $200 billion, man am I ever in the wrong line of work!

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Re: Alibaba actaully sells stuff?

Alibaba deal in wholesale. If you've ever bought anything from ebay that orginated in China from cheap audio connectors to no name tablets right through to small diesel generators or hand tools. Chances are it was sold wholesale on Alibaba.

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Re: Alibaba actaully sells stuff?

I tried looking for a custom power transformer on Alibaba for a project we were doing at work.

After posting the needed specs, I was deluged by replies from companies offerring totally inappropriate products. Many of the replies were just contact information, although I had posted fairly complete specs of what I needed. The rest of the replies were, to put it politely, junk. The ones I could even understand.

Yeah, it's pretty much Chinese eBay, with a touch of Craigslist. Everyone and his brother has a bot to respond to any query with a list of the stuff they're flogging. And you keep getting replies for months after you place your query.

Others claim to have succeeded, but for me, the effort to reward ratio is far too high. Alibaba's on my junk mail filter now.

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Re: I always thought it was some sort of search aggregator

That's exactly what I've always thought.

It seemingly has everything. Need a "Werewolf themed kidney dialysis machine", Alibaba will comeback saying they have 12 from three vendors. I got in the habit of adding -alibaba to every search I made.

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Re: I always thought it was some sort of search aggregator

Alibaba.com is the wholesale or B2B website. They also run aliexpress.com, which is the retail (B2C) site.

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Re: Alibaba actaully sells stuff?

Use Alibaba express for smaller quantities else it's wholesale.

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Anonymous Coward

As said, it's mainly a wholesale ebay facilitating Western buyers sourcing Chinese made products. I.e. it's fucking massive and a genuine value add profit-making business, unlike most groupwank tech IPOs/valuations currently

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A better investment opportunity...

Over the weekend I had a clear out of my garage and have discovered : loads of old pieces of wood of various lengths and types, an ancient hedge trimmer (with plug), quite a few old tins of paint, a Black and Decker dustbuster that upon user acceptance testing didn't actually bust any dust, and finally an early 80's Raleigh Ace bicycle whose wheels had rusted away. I have been assured this morning by my investment bank that the fact that the Raleigh Ace was located behind the garage rather than "in" the garage, and covered in brambles - won't affect its £50 billion valuation.

So, I'm planning to float these impressive resources on the stock exchange on Thursday for about £400 billion, as it could contain the seeds of a great web business, as it also comes with some dead spiders who seem to have been productive at some time previous.

Let me know if you're interested. I'll be hanging around outside Costas in Shorditch with a brass begging bowl from Tuesday lunchtime onwards.

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I've used Alibaba by accident several times

it leaves me wondering if I can sell on the various items I seemingly could buy 10 off for the price of one over here.

Anyone point me in the direction of a teach yourself import procedures online?

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Re: I've used Alibaba by accident several times

@Tom7 Yes, take the first left at "Google it" then a right at "for yourself" and straight on at "you lazy bugger!"

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