Alibaba and China's Two Great Walls

Alibaba and China's Two Great Walls

Alibaba's initial public offering prospectus makes it clear that potential investors are looking at a very Chinese business: huge and fraught with the dangers of working under a protectionist, paranoid government and within a murky legal framework. Those who buy into Alibaba's $20 billion IPO will be investing in China's policy of creating "national champions," without any guarantees that their rights will be honored or their input appreciated.

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