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Alibaba IPO more discussed in Chinese social media than iPhone 6 launch
2015-07-15

BEIJING, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- The launch of China's e-commerce giant Alibaba in a record-breaking IPO in New York was the most discussed business event this month, more so than the launch of Apple's iPhone, a study showed.

The two most closely-watched business events this month, Alibaba's public offering on Sept. 20 overshadowed Apple's iPhone 6 launch on Sept. 10, a study by CIC and Kantar showed.

Discussions over Alibaba's success and its founder Jack Ma have dominated the buzz on microblog Sina Weibo.

The number of posts and discussions regarding Alibaba IPO's was 2.3 times iPhone 6 launch on Sept. 10 at both of their peak volumes, it said.

According to CIC's Weibo monitoring service, which continuously collected random Weibo posts, the discussions about Alibaba peaked on Sept. 20.

Alibaba shares debuted at the New York Stock Exchange on Sept. 19 New York time, and the discussion in China continued into Beijing time the next day, mostly focusing on Alibaba's price surge on debut day.

Half of the Weibo posts captured by CIC system were neutral, 40 percent are positive and the remaining 10 percent are negative.

In April of 2013, Alibaba spent 586 million U.S. dollars buying 18 percent of Sina Weibo. However, this ownership doesn't seem to have affected people's discussions on Sina Weibo as most of the Weibo posts were published by ordinary individual users.

According to the auto text mining analysis of the CIC system, 98.74 percent of Alibaba-related Weibo posts were "normal posts," compared to 1.11 percent of "e-commerce promotions" and 0.15 percent of "online event promotions."

In terms of volume of specific buzzwords, Ma's famous quote during his roadshow -- "Yesterday, you didn't want to talk to me (because I was nobody back then). Today, I am so successful that you can't reach me" -- has aroused more discussions than any other Alibaba-related topics.

The second most discussed topic, according to the buzzword volume, was Alibaba's decision to stop its Hong Kong IPO because the Hong Kong Stock Exchange couldn't agree to Alibaba's future "partnership" corporate governance structure.

The third hottest topic was Hong Kong media's report that Jack Ma will "emigrate to become a Hong Kong citizen by 2015."

Alibaba's public relationship team responded quickly by publishing a screenshot of Ma's clarifying blog post on Alibaba's social media platform to quench the rumor and prevented negative reports and discussions to pop up.

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