Wal-Mart’s status as the world’s largest retailer is on shaky ground today after a bump in Alibaba’s share price drove the Chinese e-commerce giant’s market capitalization to $251 billion, compared with roughly $246 billion for Wal-Mart.
Alibaba’s (BABA) stock touched a record high in early Tuesday trading, and were lately hovering around the $100 mark, in the wake of CEO Jack Ma’s recent comments about a possible marriage between Apple’s (AAPL) new mobile payments system, Apple Pay, and his own company’s Alipay. (Ma made the suggestion at a tech conference on Monday and Apple CEO Tim Cook immediately voiced his approval of the idea.)
Shares of Alibaba are up more than 2% this afternoon and they have gained more than 4% since the start of the week, propelling the Chinese company’s total share value past that of Wal-Mart (WMT), which reported another quarter of lackluster U.S. sales numbers in August. The U.S. retailer’s own shares, which are down around 0.5% on Tuesday, have lost more than 3% of their value since the start of the year.
Alibaba, meanwhile, is a little more than a month removed from launching its record IPO, which raised about $25 billion on September 18. The company’s shares have gained in value since that point, reaching as high as $100.50 apiece on Tuesday, and its market cap has gained more than $80 billion since the pre-IPO pricing of Alibaba shares valued them at $68.