Doing so would guarantee a majority of directors (6 out of 11) have been nominated by the partnership. The ability to maintain management/founder board control was a key reason Alibaba chose to list in NYC instead of Hong Kong.
Separately, Alibaba is partnering with Nielsen (NLSN) to obtain integrated online/offline data about Chinese consumers. A new Nielsen product (called Omni Channel) will combine shopping and demographic data from Alibaba's sites with offline data (provided by Nielsen) from Chinese retailers.
Google, Facebook, and other U.S. Web giants are already trying to leverage offline data to improve ad targeting. The Nielsen tie-up could be especially useful for Alibaba's giant Taobao site (focused on smaller merchants), which is monetized via ads and other value-added services rather than transaction fees.
Yesterday: Alibaba IPO process could start at month's end