China's Taobao has no immediate IPO plans - source

BEIJING, March 5 Fri Mar 5, 2010 3:05am EST

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BEIJING, March 5 (Reuters) - Taobao, China's largest online retail marketplace, has no immediate plans for an initial public offering, a source with knowledge of the situation said on Friday, citing comments from a top executive at Taobao's parent.

Jack Ma, chairman of Taobao's parent Alibaba Group, made the remarks at a company event on Thursday evening, following recent market talk that the company may be seeking an IPO for Taobao, said the source with direct knowledge of the event, speaking on condition of anonymity because the event was private.

Ma said that Taobao's focus for now would be on building up the company over the next two to three years, the source said.

Some have recently speculated that Taobao might seek an IPO following its rapid growth to cash in on its solid market position in the world's largest Internet market.

The company is owned by Alibaba Group, which itself is 40 percent owned by U.S. search giant Yahoo (YHOO.O). Alibaba Group is also parent of Hong Kong-listed Alibaba.com 1688.HK, operator of China's largest business-to-business marketplace.

In January, Alibaba Group said it expects transactions on Taobao to double to 400 billion yuan ($59 billion) this year from last year, as China's e-commerce market was set to grow significantly in the next five to eight years. [ID:nTOE60I06I] (Reporting by Doug Young; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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