THE NEWS WRAP: Chinese e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba gets ready to float

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has filed to go public in what could be the largest US initial public offering ever.


Alibaba is a huge online marketplace, accounting for 80% of Chinese e-commerce. It sells everything from cement to surgical instruments to iPhone cases.


The exact size of the IPO is unknown, but the company’s filing indicates it intends to raise about $US1 billion. Analysts are saying the company could raise between $US15-20 billion.


A survey of analysts by Bloomberg News estimated the company’s value to be $168 billion.


EA destroys earning expectations


Video game publisher EA reported earnings for its fourth quarter that vastly exceeded estimates.


The publisher reported earnings per share of US48 cents, compared to estimates of 11 cents.


Quarterly revenue was $914 million, down $1.04 billion on the same quarter last year, but up on Wall Street estimates of $812 million.


In a statement, EA chief executive officer Andrew Wilson said the company had to navigate a “tremendous year of change” in the industry.


EA published Titanfall, FIFA 14 and Battlefield 4 – three of the year’s top five best-selling titles across all platforms this calendar year.


Google Maps apps add lane direction and other changes


According to a statement released by the company, the Google Maps app now shows you which lane to stay in when driving.


In addition, users can now save maps offline, storing them for later use.


Regular Uber riders will also benefit. If users have the Uber app installed, they can now compare their ride with transit and walking directions from Google Maps in some cities.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 129.53 to 16,401.02. The Australian dollar is currently trading at US93 cents.


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