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Alibaba founder rallies troops for US listing

Published on May 7, 2014 1:46 PM

SHANGHAI (AFP) - The outspoken founder of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, Jack Ma, has thrown down a challenge to the world's global Internet giants and put future shareholders in their place as the firm filed for a US stock offer.

In a memo sent to employees minutes before Alibaba filed documents to the US Securities and Exchange Commission for its initial public offering (IPO), Ma described the listing as a "filling station" on the way to future development, according to a copy of it posted by the respected magazine Caijing on its website.

Alibaba declined to confirm the authenticity of the letter, but it was widely quoted by Chinese state media on Wednesday. Alibaba has more than 20,000 employees.

"Fifteen years ago, Alibaba's 18 founders were determined to set up a global Internet company originated by Chinese people, with hopes it would become one of the world's top ten Internet companies, a company which will exist for 102 years," he said - a lifespan which would mean it existed in three different centuries.

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