May 28, 2019 - Economy

Alibaba weighs $20 billion secondary offering in Hong Kong

Illustration of bag with China stars

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Alibaba is considering a $20 billion secondary offering in Hong Kong, five years after raising $25 billion via an IPO in New York, according to Bloomberg.

What to watch: First, this may be as much about rising trade tensions between the U.S. and China as it is about raising capital. Floating in Hong Kong could further strengthen ties between Alibaba and Beijing, while also providing some regulatory risk mitigation in the U.S.

  • Hong Kong recently relaxed its listing rules to include such things as dual-class shares. Alibaba had proven unable to get HK approval for its governance structure the last time around but, if successful now, it could pour accelerant onto HK's tech listings business.
  • Get it while the going is good. Or, as Axios' Felix Salmon puts it: "I think it makes sense to tap public markets right now. Frankly I'm surprised everyone isn't doing it."
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