HONG KONG — Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group said Sunday that it will go public on a U.S. stock exchange in a move analysts say might raise up to $15 billion in the year’s biggest initial public offering.
The announcement confirming plans for a U.S. offering ended months of speculation over where the company would list its shares after talks for a Hong Kong stock sale fell apart last year.
Alibaba is one of the world’s biggest Internet companies and says that more than $150 billion worth of merchandise changes hands on its online platforms each year, more than Amazon.com and eBay combined.
The company began as a service to link Chinese suppliers with retailers abroad and has expanded into retail e-commerce. It is little-known abroad but has launched two consumer-oriented services in the United States.
“Alibaba Group has decided to commence the process of an initial public offering in the United States,” the company said in a statement. “This will make us a more global company and enhance the company’s transparency, as well as allow the company to continue to pursue our long-term vision and ideals.”
It gave no details about the timing or size of the IPO, or on which exchange it would take place.
Analysts have estimated that an Alibaba IPO could raise up to $15 billion and value the company at more than $100 billion.
Hangzhou, China-based Alibaba had previously abandoned plans for an IPO in Hong Kong because the semiautonomous Chinese financial center’s stock exchange refused to change its rules to accommodate the company’s unusual management structure.