Alibaba Group Boss Jack Ma.
Alibaba founder Jack Ma gives a thumbs-up as he arrives to speak to investors at an IPO roadshow in Singapore on 16 SeptemberReuters

Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant dubbed the 'Amazon of Asia', saw its share price rocket by as much as 40% after it floated onto the New York Stock Exchange.

The firm, which dominates 80% of China's online retail market, saw its share price leap to $92.70 when it entered the stock exchange - way up from its offer price of $68 - valuing it at $228bn (£139.7bn, €177.6bn).

It closed in on $100 in the early moments of frantic trading but has since fallen back to around the $90 mark. Alibaba sold 320 million shares, amounting to about 13% of the company. Those underwriting the flotation have an option to sell 48 million more.

"This is by far the biggest IPO event-extravanganza that we've had," Peter Costa, floor trader at Empire Executions Inc, told Reuters.

Jack Ma is the brainchild behind Alibaba, which he founded at the end of the 1990s. Now he is China's richest man, worth an estimated $21bn. By selling some of his own Alibaba shares he is set to pocket hundreds of billions of dollars directly from the IPO.

Alibaba is fast-growing. It generated $2.54bn in revenue in the second quarter of 2014, up 46% on the same period a year before. It had had 279 million active users by the end of June, an annual leap of 50%.

"I believed 15 years ago that the internet is going to change China, is going to improve the world, whether you believe that or not, whether we succed or not - but somebody will succeed," Ma told Bloomberg TV.

"So if you don't work hard, if you don't keep on working every day, nobody has a chance. I never knew that we would be here today."

When asked what are the challenges of working with the Chinese government when you are a global company, Ma said communication was vital, adding that you should "always try to stay in love with the government, but don't marry them".