Alibaba, China’s biggest e-commerce company, said Tuesday that it would seek a primary listing in Hong Kong.
The listing is expected to be completed by the end of 2022, and Alibaba will become a dual-listed company on the New York Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
CEO Daniel Zhang said Alibaba was pursuing another primary listing venue to foster a “wider and more diversified investor base.”
“Hong Kong and New York are both major global financial centers, with shared characteristics of openness and diversity,” Zhang said in a statement. “Hong Kong is also the launch pad for Alibaba’s globalization strategy, and we are fully confident in China’s economy and future.”
The Chinese tech giant went public in the US in September 2014 and completed a secondary listing in Hong Kong in November 2019.
Seeking a dual primary listing would also enable Alibaba to apply for the Stock Connect program, which will make it easier for mainland Chinese investors to purchase the company's shares. Stock Connect is a mutual market access program through which investors in Mainland China and Hong Kong can trade and settle shares listed on the other market via the stock exchanges and clearing houses in their home market.
Mainland institutional investors and individual investors who hold an aggregate balance of more than RMB 500,000 in their securities and cash account are permitted to enroll in the Stock Connect program, according to Securities and Futures Commission's requirement.
Alibaba's shares have fallen sharply since Chinese regulators began cracking down on the tech sector in late 2020. Since then, US regulators have stepped up scrutiny of the accounts of New York-listed Chinese companies and demanded greater transparency, driving many Chinese companies to turn to Hong Kong for primary listing or secondary listing.