Alibaba’s Hong Kong Debut Is the Biggest IPO of 2019—by Far

November 26, 2019, 10:04 AM UTC

Chinese tech giant Alibaba smashed the record for the largest IPO of 2019 in its Tuesday debut in Hong Kong.

Alibaba Group Holding Limited beat out Uber’s record May IPO of $8.1 billion, raising $11.2 billion in a secondary listing in a city beset by recession and nearly six months of political unrest. Alibaba’s total raise from the oversubscribed offering could be even higher—about $13 billion—if its underwriting banks exercise their “greenshoe” options to buy more shares. The company first listed in New York in 2014.

Shares in Alibaba jumped more than 6% as it debuted Tuesday morning on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and at market close finished with a 6.6% rise for the day. Shares in Alibaba’s rival Tencent Holdings fell 0.9%.

Charles Li Xiaojia, chief executive of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, said before trading that Alibaba’s listing was a “milestone” and like “a family member finally coming home.”

Hong Kong was Alibaba founder Jack Ma’s first choice to list in 2014 before the company switched to New York following a dispute with HKEx over the selection of board members. Alibaba leadership has since repeated its desire to eventually list in Hong Kong—significantly closer to the business’s home in Hangzhou, China.

“As a result of the continuous innovation and changes to the Hong Kong capital market, we are able to realize what we regrettably missed out on five years ago. Today we realized what we said then: ‘When conditions allow, we will come back to Hong Kong,'” Alibaba executive chairman and chief executive Daniel Zhang said in a Tuesday statement.

Alibaba’s first-day rally came amidst economic and political turmoil in Hong Kong. A landslide victory for pro-democracy candidates in local elections on Sunday did not slow the momentum of the protests.

Hong Kong’s stock market rose on Monday after a relatively peaceful election weekend, but the city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index ended 0.3% lower on Tuesday, when lunchtime demonstrations erupted in malls and on the street in Hong Kong’s financial and shopping district and across the harbor in Kowloon Bay, where around 200 protestors, some clad in black but most in business casual, blocked an intersection and chanted anti-police slogans under the looming shadows of glass-paneled office buildings.

“I applaud Alibaba for taking the step to list in Hong Kong at a time when a lot of people have lost confidence […] in what’s going on in Hong Kong as a market,” Mary Manning, portfolio manager at Ellerston Capital, told CNBC.

Many first-time buyers of Alibaba stock in Hong Kong were institutional investors and fund houses from mainland China, Maggie Wu, Alibaba’s chief financial officer, told the South China Morning Post.

“We continue to see HKEx as a primary listing venue for mainland corporates to raise capital offshore and a gateway for access to the mainland capital markets,” says Michael Wu, senior equity analyst at Morningstar Investment Management.

Alibaba said in its prospectus that it plans to use the funds generated by the IPO to expand beyond its primary moneymaker—e-commerce—and into other consumer-focused services like travel booking and video streaming, as well as business-focused services like supply chain, logistics, and payment ecosystems for merchants across the globe.

The company is also ramping up its investments in cloud computing and machine learning, part of a larger project to develop the all-encompassing “Alibaba digital economy,” which it says has penetrated 70% of the Chinese population thanks to the 730 million annual active consumers from e-commerce sales and the mobile payment platform Alipay’s roughly 900 million annual active users.

More must-read stories from Fortune:

—This French billionaire is closing in on ‘world’s richest man’ title after Tiffany takeover
—CEOs are facing fierce pressure on climate change—from their own kids
—After a violent ‘yellow vest’ anniversary, what’s next for the movement?
—In the wake of Brexit, Amsterdam is the new London
—These are the jobs artificial intelligence will eliminate by 2030
Catch up with
Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily digest on the business of tech.