Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has announced plans for a flotation in the US, saying the move will make it “a more global company”.
The move had been widely predicted by analysts, who expect it to be the biggest share offering by a tech firm since Facebook’s flotation in 2012.
They predict that the listing will raise up to $15bn (?9bn).
However, Alibaba did not reveal when the initial public offering (IPO) would take place or on which exchange.
“Alibaba Group has decided to commence the process of an initial public offering in the United States,” the firm’s statement said.
“This will make us a more global company and enhance the company’s transparency, as well as allow the company to continue to pursue our long-term vision and ideals.”
The move is expected to benefit Yahoo, which owns a significant stake in Alibaba and could see the value of its investment rise considerably.
Speculation about a New York listing for Alibaba began last September, when the company abandoned plans for a stock offering in Hong Kong after talks with regulators broke down.
Alibaba’s management structure, which allows senior executives to retain control of the board of directors, fell foul of Hong Kong’s listing rules.
Hong Kong Stock Exchange chief executive Charles Li said in a statement: “We respect the company’s decision and wish it well.”
He added, in an apparent reference to Alibaba’s insistence on maintaining its management structure: “We are proud of our tradition of respect for the rule of law and adherence to principles.”
The Alibaba group is already the world’s largest online retailer, with more than 500 million customers and more than 800 million product listings.
However, it is so far little known outside China.
The news comes two days after another Chinese tech giant, Twitter-like service Weibo, announced plans for a $500m US listing.