The Chinese e-commerce site, Alibaba, which claims to be the world leader in e-commerce, will go public on either the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq. Alibaba’s handled $248 billion in transactions in 2013, more than Amazon and eBay combined.
Alibaba’s forthcoming IPO is expected to value the Chinese company north of $150 billion. By comparison, Amazon is valued at nearly $137 billion based on today’s share price, and eBay about $64.5 billion.
Alibaba’s market value is estimated at $168 billion, bigger than 95 percent of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index — and the most valuable Internet company after Google, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Gross merchandise value on Alibaba’s three big marketplaces in China, which dominate e-retail sales in that country, totaled $248 billion in 2013, according to the prospectus filed today. The company says it has 231 million active customers who purchased on average 49 times in 2013, up from 39 times a year earlier.
Meanwhile, Trade publication Internet Retailer says e-commerce sales data reveals Amazon remains the clear frontrunner in e-commerce retail in the United States, but that race is heating up.
Apple which took the No. 2 spot long held by office supply chain Staples, notched a 24% increase in online sales to $18.3 billion last year, largely because Apple added online hardware sales for the first time, in addition to the digital sales from its App Store and iTunes.
Amazon sold $67.8 billion of electronics, media and other products last year — more than its next 10 biggest online competitors combined.
But online sales remain a small fraction of most brick and mortar retailers’ sales.
Staples’ online sales grew by just 1% to $10.4 billion, representing about 45% of the company’s $23.1 billion in total revenue last year. Likewise, online sales grew by 1% at Office Depot to $4.1 billion and were flat at Office Max at $3.2 billion. Online sales represented close to 3% of Costco’s $103 billion in revenue last year and about 7% of Best Buy’s $42 billion.