Technology giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) is working on a plan to list on a stock exchange in its home market, China, according to people familiar with the matter — more than three years after its blockbuster initial public offering in New York.

Alibaba is evaluating ways in which its shares could be traded by investors on the mainland, according to sources for the Wall Street Journal (paywalled). The two main stock exchanges in mainland China are the Shanghai Stock Exchange and Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

In recent months, China’s securities regulator has been in touch with several investment banks to discuss ways to allow companies listed abroad to issue securities on the mainland (Wall Street Journal), as enticing Chinese tech companies trading abroad — like Alibaba, Baidu I, c. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. — to list at home, has been made a national priority.

A secondary listing in China could happen as soon as this summer if the country’s securities rules are changed to allow listings of foreign companies. While the bulk of Alibaba’s business and operations are in China, the nearly 20-year-old company is incorporated in the Cayman Islands.

Chinese laws have long prohibited overseas companies from selling shares directly to local investors. China also currently forbids companies with shares that carry different voting rights to list on the mainland. Alibaba has a complex ownership structure that gives its founders and a small group of executives more control over the company than other shareholders.

In 2014, the company launched a $25 billion U.S. float on the New York Stock Exchange in what remains the world’s largest IPO.

An Alibaba spokeswoman said the company has been considering a listing in China since 2014, if regulations would permit it.

Chinese authorities are trying to lure some of the country’s technology stalwarts back to its capital markets. Alibaba’s shares have climbed 86 percent over the past year and have more than doubled since their IPO — gains that investors in China have largely missed out on. The company now has a market capitalization of around $493 billion U.S. and is one of the world’s most valuable technology firms.

Chinese regulators want large homegrown companies and promising startups to participate in its capital markets, giving retail investors an opportunity to tap into the wealth generated by successful companies, among other goals. Tencent, whose shares have also doubled over the past year, is listed in Hong Kong, while Baidu is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Original reporting: Wall Street Journal

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