The Appleby team was led by corporate partner John Melia and counsel Tan Li-Lee in Appleby’s Hong Kong office, assisted by associate Vincent Chan. As to U.S. law, Morrison & Foerster acted for SoftBank, while Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz acted for Alibaba, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom acted for Yahoo! Inc.
Alibaba Group, whose shareholders include SoftBank and Yahoo! Inc., is a privately owned Chinese ecommerce operator with businesses including business-to-business online web portals, online retail and payment services, a shopping search engine and data-centric cloud computing services, with a mission to make it easy for anyone to buy or sell goods and services anywhere in the world. It is one of the titans in China’s ecommerce industry.
The key asset of Small and Micro Financial is Alipay, an online payment escrow service, which accounts for roughly half of all online payment transactions within China. The vast majority of these payments occur using Alibaba services. Analysts say Alipay would be worth much more than USD25 billion when it goes public.
SoftBank is a Japanese telecommunications and internet corporation led by Masayoshi Son, with operations in broadband, fixed-line telecommunications, ecommerce, Internet, broadmedia, technology services, finance, media and marketing, and other businesses. It is one of the biggest shareholders of Alibaba.
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