“Partnership” System and Road to an IPO: Alibaba’s Strategic Decision-Making

“Partnership” System and Road to an IPO: Alibaba’s Strategic Decision-Making

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Abstract

After long-running battles for control over the Group, Alibaba Group Holding Limited (hereinafter referred to as Alibaba or the Group), headed by Jack Ma, finally introduces a “partnership” system that allows its founding partners and senior executives to appoint the Group’s directors. However, in its initial public offering (IPO) process, this system has been repeatedly challenged by supervising authorities. Does this “partnership” help maintain the stability of the Group and promote long-term profit maximization for its shareholders? Or does it hurt the interests of small investors? Faced with various difficulties and challenges along its road to an IPO, Alibaba’s top management is contemplating how to defend its institutional innovation.

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