Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding has delayed a potential US$15 billion initial public offering in Hong Kong, as political protests continue to sweep across the Asian city causing unrest.
SEE ALSO : Protests affect Hong Kong Economy
Sources told Reuters the listing was postponed at a board meeting.
Alibaba reportedly met ahead of releasing the company’s latest quarterly earnings, deciding to hold off on the IPO, which was slated for late August, in Hong Kong.
“It would be very unwise to launch the deal now or anytime soon. It would certainly annoy Beijing by offering Hong Kong such a big gift, given what is going on in the city,” a source told Reuters.
Alibaba has declined to comment on the deal.
The 11-week pro-democracy demonstrations continue to take place in various locations across Hong Kong, imposing both financial and political instability for companies and brands in the city –which is known as a hub of financial activity.
Since the protests began almost three months ago, some 700 people have been arrested, and the Hong Kong airport temporarily shut down.
Moreover, the Hong Kong stock exchange plunged to a seven-month low last week, making it a risk for company’s like Alibaba to list there.
However, Alibaba could launch the Hong Kong deal as early as October, once political tensions ease and market conditions return to normal. The company first filed for a listing earlier this year.
Alibaba reported its quarterly sales increased blazing 42%, while net income more than doubled. It was also reported that Alibaba is in talks to pay $2 billion for NetEase’s Kaola, which specializes in selling foreign goods to Chinese consumers.
SEE ALSO : Alibaba acquires NetEase’s Kaola
Chinese online sales accelerated in the June quarter, helped by sales promotions across China’s leading e-commerce platforms including Alibaba and JD.com.