Alibaba Group finally filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to go public in the U.S. to raise up to $1 billion of funding. The amount is considered a placeholder number which will facilitate the calculation of exchange registration fees. Analysts expects this IPO to break Facebook’s record of $16.4 billion and marking one of the biggest IPOs in American history, according to a recent poll by Bloomberg News, who valued the company at nearly $170 billion.

Founded by former English teacher Jack Ma in 1999, Alibaba has a mix of businesses, ranging from retail markets of Taobao, Tmall, Juhuasuan to global wholesale marketplaces of Alibaba.com and 1688.com, as well as global consumer market AliExpress and cloud computing services. Alibaba also runs China’s largest payment processor Alipay, which is not part of this IPO. But it is reported that Alibaba Group is in talks with major shareholders to regain a stake in the payment affiliate.

In the nine months ended December 31, 2013, Alibaba generated 40.5 billion yuan ($6.5 billion) of revenue and net income of 17.7 billion yuan ($2.9 billion), according to the prospectus. Alibaba’s revenue mainly comes from merchants through online marketing services, commissions on transactions and fees for online services. Other sources of revenue are fees from memberships and cloud computing services.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.