Alibaba's Jack Ma says partnership not aimed to "exert control"

An employee walks past a logo of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd at its headquarters on the outskirts of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province,on May 17, 2010. The company officially unveiled on Tuesday details of its partnership system that founder and executi
An employee walks past a logo of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd at its headquarters on the outskirts of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province,on May 17, 2010. The company officially unveiled on Tuesday details of its partnership system that founder and executive chairman Jack Ma said would help protect the company from the "temptation to seek short-term gains." -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG (REUTERS) - Alibaba Group Holding Ltd officially unveiled on Tuesday details of its partnership system that founder and executive chairman Jack Ma said would help protect the company from the "temptation to seek short-term gains."

In an e-mail sent to employees to mark the company's 14-year anniversary, Mr Ma also said the partnership was not aimed "to exert greater control over the company" and urged more employees to join the group.

Mr Ma's message comes as the company prepares for an initial public offering that could rival Facebook Inc's US$16 billion (S$20.4 billion) offer last year.

Alibaba has not made a decision of where to go public, but people familiar with the listing plans have said Alibaba is inclined to have its IPO in Hong Kong, although New York also an option.

"We are not concerned about where to go public, but we do care that wherever we end up going public must support this type of open, innovative, responsible culture that values long-term development," Mr Ma said.