BEIJING, March 5 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)