May 7, 2014 9:20 PM

Alibaba Group’s founder saw Internet’s potential for China

The online world opened to billionaire Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., on his first trip to the U.S. in 1995. A friend he was visiting in Seattle showed him the Internet. Almost 20 years later, Alibaba is China’s largest online retailer, and Ma’s U.S.-inspired brainchild is readying for an initial public offering in New York that could raise as much as $20 billion, potentially making it the largest IPO ever.

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