Beijing-based Alibaba.com Inc, a global online trade sourcing company, will reveal today that it has received the largest amount of venture capital in the history of China's Internet industry to drive its expansion.
The investment is expected to be much higher than US$60 million, which sina.com received from investors in 1999 - the golden age for Internet companies, said Alibaba's spokesman Wang Shuai Monday, who declined to disclose more details.
There is, however, speculation that Softbank Corp is the investor but Alibaba neither denied nor confirmed it.
"The move will be a milestone in China's e-business history, which further reflects investors' confidence in the country's e-commerce market," said Chen Jie, an analyst with Analysys International.
Founded in April 1999, Alibaba has developed into China's largest business-to-business company with a global customer base of 285,000 registered members. In July last year, Alibaba invested 100 million yuan (US$12.05 million) to establish a Website, taobao.com.
The set-up occurred shortly after the US online auction giant, eBay Inc, acquired China's biggest online auction Website, eachnet.com.
At the end of January, taobao.com had 300,000 registered users while eachnet.com had 4 million registered users at the end of last year.
(Shanghai Daily February 17, 2004)