MOSCOW, September 17 (RIA Novosti) - Alibaba Group Holding Limited has raised the price range on its initial public offering, marking a shift of e-commerce to Asia, according to The Wall Street Journal.
"In the past decade, we measured ourselves by how much we changed China. In the future, we will be judged by how much progress we bring to the world," WSJ quoted Alibaba founder and executive chairman Jack Ma as saying in a letter to investors Monday.
"When I think of the seven great Internet companies in the world five years from now, I think of Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu," Jim Breyer, one of the most successful venture capital investors and best known for his early bet on Facebook, said.
Earlier in September, Alibaba announced it was going public September 19. It is be the biggest public offering ever on the New York Stock Exchange. Twenty-six other Internet companies based in China, Japan or South Korea already have gone public so far this year. Alibaba is expected to increase Asia's total stock market value by $25 billion. When Alibaba begins trading Friday, four of the world's 10 largest Internet companies by stock market value will be based in Asia, up from two in 2004, according to S&P Capital IQ.
Rapid expansion of Asian companies in the stock market is evidence of a shift to Asia in the Internet's global pecking order, the newspaper reported.
About 45 percent of Internet users globally are in Asia, according to the International Telecommunication Union, the United Nations' information technology agency. In China, more than 500 million people go online using smartphones. The number of social media users in the Asian-Pacific region is expected to approach 1 billion by year-end, almost five times the total of North America, according to the research company Webcertain Group.