After a two-hour delay on Friday morning, Alibaba stock began trading at $92.70 a share, well above its IPO price of $68 a share, giving the company a market cap of nearly $230 billion. That puts Alibaba value significantly above Amazon’s market valuation, a company it’s often compared to, and on par with Facebook.
Alibaba raised $21.8 billion from its public offering, making it the largest U.S. IPO of all time and further establishing the company as a giant on the world stage. The company is now trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the stock ticker “BABA.”
Jack Ma, the founder behind the Chinese ecommerce giant, flashed the thumbs up sign to onlookers as he entered the historic stock exchange to kick off the first day of trading for his company. Once inside the exchange, Ma took pictures with reporters and talked up his long, improbable journey from English teacher to the richest man in China, which started with his discovering the Internet in Seattle nearly 20 years ago.
At one point, Ma exhibited some of his characteristic quirkiness by telling CNBC that his hero is Forrest Gump. “The hero I had was Forrest Gump,” Ma said in the interview, to the shock
of his interviewers, one of whom asked if Ma knew Gump was a fictional character. “I really like that guy,” Ma continued. “I’ve been watching that movie for about 10 times. Every time when I’m frustrated, I watch the movie. And I watched movie before I came here.”