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Alibaba Said to Weigh Good Fortune of No. 8 in Choosing IPO Date

There are two common interpretations for the word “ba” in Chinese. Literally, it can mean “eight.” Superstitiously, it denotes “fortune.”

It’s no coincidence, then, that Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. -- with back-to-back “ba’s” in its own name -- is targeting a U.S. trading debut of Aug. 8, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The company’s co-founders Jack Ma and Joe Tsai both see it as auspicious, the people said, asking not to be named because the information is private.