Concerns surrounding economically-sensitive 'big data' gleaned from user transactions on Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba's businesses may delay the company's planned U.S. listing, banking sources told CNBC this week, leading some to speculate that Beijing may even exert pressure on the company to list in Hong Kong.
Alibaba wants to arrange its initial public offering – which reportedly could value the company at $70 billion or more – to allow the company's founders to retain control, the Wall Street Journal reported this week.
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But talks with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange broke off when the two sides couldn't reach agreement on that structure, according to the newspaper. Alibaba is now moving toward listing its shares in the U.S., people familiar with the matter said. The company's debut would be the largest technology IPO since Facebook's last year, which raised $16 billion.
But possible resistance from China's government – who may express reservations over the level of U.S. regulatory scrutiny paid to economically-sensitive data that can be 'mined' from the transactions on the company's 'e-tail' sites – may mean a U.S. listing could add another layer of complexity, possibly delaying the offering.