Back in 2005, Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) invested $1 billion into Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd, which as we know now, has been a very wise move. Currently Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)’s stake in the company is worth as much as $40 billion, which is higher than Yahoo’s current market capitalization; and the company is all set to cash in around $8 billion through the Alibaba’s IPO, later this month. Alibaba Co-founder Jack Ma is the biggest force behind the Chinese company’s growth. Bloomberg has unveiled a clip from 1999, in which Jack Ma delivered a speech in his apartment to 17 friends about his plan to compete with US -based Internet giants.
The world would soon see Ma’s vision come true as the Chinese e-commerce company would go public and have possibly the largest ever technology debut in US. In his motivational speech to his friends 15 years back he said that the main competitor for Alibaba was not the domestic companies, but the companies in America’s Silicon Valley.
He insisted on the fact that Alibaba has the potential to compete against the tech giants from US. Alibaba would not only make an impressive debut in US but also help Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)’s gain lost grounds through the public offering. Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) would still have around 16.3% share in Alibaba, even after selling 121.7 of its Alibaba shares in the IPO.
In the clip from 1999, Ma also insisted on the work spirit and ethics of US companies, which could take Alibaba to the next level.
“[…] we need to learn the hard working spirit of Silicon Valley. If we go to work at 8am and go home at 5pm, this is not a high tech company and Alibaba will never be successful. If we have that kind of 8am-to-5pm spirit then we should just go and do something else. American are strong at hardware and systems. But on information and software Chinese brains are just as good as theirs. All of our brains are just as good as theirs,” Ma said to his friends in 1999.
He also mentioned that the innovative spirit of Alibaba would help them defeat big US companies in the future. He mentioned in the clip that the goal of Alibaba would be to do the public offering US by 2002. Better late than never, after 12 years from his initial target the company will be conducting its IPO in US very soon.
Among the top investors for Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) is Citadel Investment group, led by Ken Griffin. They hold around 8.1 million shares of the company.