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Alibaba market cap tops Amazon for 1st time in 28 months

Chinese online retailer wows investors as its US rival faces tough fight at home

Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba has seen a steady rise in its market value as shoppers in Asia and elsewhere go online.   © Reuters

NEW YORK -- The market value of Alibaba Group Holding briefly exceeded that of Amazon.com on Tuesday for the first time in 28 months on the New York Stock Exchange.

The Chinese e-commerce company's market capitalization has been steadily growing as shoppers in China, Southeast Asia and elsewhere make more purchases online.

Alibaba's American Depositary Receipts ended Tuesday's trade in New York at $183, up 0.5%, with its market value briefly topping $470 billion.

Amazon shares finished down 0.4% at $987.20 on the Nasdaq exchange. Investors reacted to Wal-Mart Stores' announcement that it plans to enhance its online shopping operations by selling Amazon shares.

Alibaba ADRs listed in the U.S. in September 2014. The share price at one point fell below the initial offering price of $68, leading to talk that expectations for the Chinese brand were unrealistic. But Alibaba ADRs have since been on a strong run, backed by encouraging financial results. 

Amazon, meanwhile, is spending huge amounts of money on research and development and other investments, putting a damper on its profit.

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