By: Brian J. Meli
Before September 19th, the date of its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, many Americans had never heard of Chinese Internet conglomerate Alibaba or its eccentric founder and Chairman Jack Ma. Now the Chinese eBay/Amazon (with 10x and 7x the annual sales of those two companies, respectively), and its iconoclast leader are all anyone in the media and the investment community can seem to talk about. And there’s good reason for that. Not only was the Alibaba Group’s IPO the largest ever for a Chinese-based company on the NYSE, but with an estimated value of $25 billion, it was the largest IPO for any company, ever.