China’s two e-commerce majors announced impressive news on the same day: Alibaba Holding Group’s market cap broke the $400 billion mark for the first time; rival JD also saw its share price hit a record high of $46.84.

Alibaba’s shares reached a record high of just over $160 in trading Thursday, generating a market cap of $409 billion. The price has since slipped but is part of an onward trend for the e-commerce and tech giant which has seen its share price rise steadily since a low of $60.89 in February 2016. In Q2 2017 alone, the company’s stock has risen 31% on the New York Stock Exchange. The surge followed the announcement in March of revenue growth of 45% to 49% over the following year.

This new high has been a long time coming. Alibaba’s launch price was $68 per share on September 19, 2014, and closed at $93.89. It then promptly slid for the next month. By March 2017, 2.5 years since going public, they had recovered to just over $100, a gain of just 11% compared to a 28% increase for the NASDAQ in general and 21% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

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Frank Hersey

Frank Hersey is a Beijing-based tech reporter who's been coming to China since 2001. He tries to go beyond the headlines to explain the context and impact of developments in China's tech sector. Get in...