By Meng Jing in Beijing and Gao Changxin
BEIJING, Sept. 28 (Xinhuanet) -- Executives from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd have taken their debate over the company's proposed initial public offering into cyberspace with dueling blog posts.
They're using the Web to state their positions on whether China's largest e-commerce company should be able to go public in the city while maintaining its special corporate structure.
Joe Tsai, co-founder and executive vice-chairman of Alibaba Group, mounted the first public defense of the company's governance structure - where a group of partners makes all key operating decisions - in a blog post at 11 pm on Thursday.
"Our governance structure is a creative way to address the core issues that matter to shareholders while staying true to who we are - which we cannot, and will not, change," Tsai wrote.
Alibaba is preparing a high-profile IPO, which is expected to be the biggest tech debut globally since Facebook Inc's $16 billion listing last year.
The company's governance structure is the key point of contention with the stock exchange in Hong Kong, which says that all shareholders should be treated equally.
Tsai's posting was the company's first public comment since rumors emerged that Alibaba would go public in the United States instead of Hong Kong.
Tsai didn't comment directly on the matter, but he said in his blog posting: "As a company with most of our business in China, it was natural for Hong Kong to be our first choice."
On Friday, Alibaba Group had no further comment on whether it had chosen the US to go public.
"We have no timetable, no location selected and no underwriters for the IPO," said a company representative on Friday.
Tsai's blog posting came not long after Charles Li, HKEx's chief executive, posted on his blog on Wednesday hinting that the HKEx might not compromise its rules for Alibaba.
"As enshrined in our charter, in the event of a conflict, public interest is put ahead of shareholder interest at HKEx," he wrote.