The CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group said on Thursday that the company will not list in Hong Kong, and has not yet decided where to launch its much-discussed initial public offering (IPO).
While announcing the decision, Jonathan Lu Zhaoxi said new enterprises need time to "study and digest" the market regarding their governance structure, with this a key determinant of where the company can be listed.
Alibaba's IPO is expected to be the biggest tech debut globally since Facebook Inc.'s 16-billion-U.S.-dollar listing last year, and there has been much speculation as to whether the company would go public in the United States or Hong Kong.
Alibaba said the group had had contact and informal communication with Hong Kong regulators, but did not submit formal applications nor ask for a dual-class share structure.
The focus of Alibaba's listing plan is its structure under which a group of partners makes all key operating decisions. The system is meant to give the company's core business managers more power in strategic decision making, according to the company.
Yet the unique structure is regarded as not in line with the listing rules in Hong Kong.
Alibaba, founded by Jack Ma, saw transactions made on Taobao and Tmall, its two customer-to-customer and business-to-customer websites, exceed 1 trillion yuan (162 billion U.S. dollars) last year.