Ahead of the Alibaba IPO, Founder Jack Ma Goes on Deal Spree

Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma Photograph by Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images

China’s biggest e-commerce company is going public. With a valuation that could reach $200 billion, Alibaba could be the second-largest Internet company in the world, behind only Google. Like his American counterparts, founder Jack Ma and his team are moving quickly to solidify Alibaba’s position as a conglomerate with broad reach in China’s booming entrepreneurial economy. Less EBay, more Amazon. “This company in the next five years will be totally different,” Ma said in a 2012 interview with Bloomberg Businessweek. “We want to build up a company in Chinese history that nobody has seen before.”

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