Alibaba to Spin Off Domain Registrar for IPO, Valuing Company at $500 Million

Alibaba reportedly looking to spin off “Go Daddy of China” in an IPO valuing the popular Chinese domain registrar at $500 million.

Alibaba is a Chinese Internet holding company with a number of popular websites and companies.  Included amongst these companies is a popular Chinese domain registrar and hosting company,  HiChina.

Business Insider is reporting today that Alibaba plans to spin off HiChina for an initial public offering (IPO) in a US stock market. Fox Business is reporting that the IPO would value the domain registrar at $500 million. This would be a great ROI considering Alibaba reportedly bought an 85% stake in the company for $79 million back in 2009.

Prior to reading this news, I hadn’t heard about HiChina before, but the company looks fairly large. According to Business Insider, “has over 2.5 million registered users and more than 2 million domain names. It operates at least 1.7 million enterprise mail accounts and more than 2 million company sites and application. In addition, about 50,000 sites are using HiChina’s web construction service.”

There aren’t too many publicly traded domain registrars. Off the top of my head, I can think of Tucows, ( and Network Solutions pending approval)  and Enom if you count them as a part of Demand Media. GoDaddy flirted with going public, but ultimately decided against it.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Melbourne IT trades on the Australian Stock Exchange (symbol “MLB”). Group NBT trades on the London Stock Exchange (symbol “NBT”). Sedo Holding AG and United Internet AG are both listed (symbols “LKI” and “UTDI” respectively) in Germany. Photon Group (which acquired Dark Blue Sea / is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (“PGA”).

    Most of these companies have other operations, besides registrars. The registrar business is often small compared to say the webhosting part of the business.

  2. Never trust in data published by China …they have specil way call ” pumping ” and do all cheats to prove that they have big,greater than others …

  3. If you look at the site at the moment you can see that you can login just with an alipay(owned by alibaba chinese equivalent of paypal) account. It’s clear that even if the company is separated there will still be connections between that and Alibaba. If most of the transactions through the site go through alibaba’s payment method they’re making a lot of money in the processing fees.

  4. I’ve used HiChina a few times, and also know a few China-based investors who only use them. Their service is very good in my experience, and i’m surprised they are thinking of going public.

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