Shares of more than doubled in its debut in Hong Kong debut, marking the largest initial public offering by an e-commerce company since Google Inc.

China's largest e-commerce firm raised $1.49 billion on Tuesday, watching its shares jump 165% to HK$35.65 over its initial offer price of HK$13.50.

The company facilitates exports from China to overseas merchants, allowing potential buyers to browse stock of millions of mainland manufacturers over the internet.

The strong debut reflects investor interest for China related stocks despite the Hang Seng's sharp 5 percent decline on Monday, its steepest one-day fall since September 2001 as uncertainties surfaced about an upcoming plan for mainland investors.

Applications for shares in the Hangzhou-based company exceeded the number of shares for sale by 256 times.

Alibaba's 858.9 million shares, representing 17% of the company's enlarged capital, were priced at the higher end of the HK$12 to HK$13.50 range, putting the equity at 106.3 times 2007 earnings.

Investors clamored for shares even though despite its steep premium to most of its peers.

By comparison, Inc trades at 170 times 2007 forecast earnings, while Google Inc is at 46 times and eBay Inc at 23.5 times. Trade media company Global Sources Ltd trades at 47 times, while Hong Kong-listed Tencent Holdings Ltd trades at 83 times prospective earnings.

The price set is reasonable. I said it two weeks ago, and today's performance has proven me right, founder and Chairman Jack Ma told reporters after a listing ceremony. 

Yahoo holds a 1.2 percent stake in, as well as a 39 percent stake in's parent firm, which holds 75 percent of the listing company.

Alibaba Group operates the online auction site and the online payment system