Alibaba plans to hold its initial public offering -- which could be the largest ever for a technology company -- in the United States, and Yahoo is already reaping rewards from its early investment in the Chinese powerhouse, with the Sunnyvale company's stock shooting higher Monday morning.

Alibaba officially announced Sunday that it would file for an IPO in the United States instead of Hong Kong, though the e-commerce company news release said that a future filing in China for a dual listing is possible.

"This will make us a more global company and enhance the company's transparency, as well as allow the company to continue to pursue our long-term vision and ideals," the company's statement read.

Founded by Jack Ma in 1999, the Hangzhou, China, company is well-known internationally for its self-titled website, which links small and medium-sized businesses around the world with manufacturers in China and elsewhere. The approach helped Alibaba enjoy an annual growth rate of about 50 percent of registered users from the U.S. from 2008 to 2012, when it reached 6.2 million American users at the end of last year; total membership checked in at 36.7 million registered users from more than 240 countries and regions, with more than 2.8 million supplier online storefronts and more than 5,900 product categories.

The company has its hands in several other pies as well, including its Taobao Internet retail website, which launched in 2003 and is analogous in China to eBay or Amazon in the states. In fact, Alibaba Group claims a larger gross merchandise volume -- a measure roughly equal to gross sales -- than eBay or Amazon combined, and could eclipse Wal-Mart in sales within five years.

Yahoo invested $1 billion for a 40 percent stake in the company in 2005, when the Sunnyvale Internet company's cofounder, Jerry Yang, was CEO. Yahoo has already realized large profits from the deal, with current CEO Marissa Mayer selling half of that stake back to Alibaba for $6.3 billion in cash and $800 million in preferred stock in the company, as well as a cash payment of $550 million for intellectual property and other considerations.

Yahoo came away from that deal with about $4 billion after taxes, the bulk of which was used to buy back stock, while still holding on to a stake of about 24 percent of Alibaba. Investor excitement has shown up in Yahoo's stock price, which more than doubled in 2013 despite the company's revenues showing few signs of growth. Alibaba's revenues topped Yahoo's for the first time in 2013, when the Chinese company's sales flew 65 percent higher to finish higher than $6 billion, while Yahoo's revenues declined 6.1 percent to $4.7 billion, according to Yahoo's annual report.

Yahoo's shares roared higher again after the IPO announcement, gaining 4 percent Monday to close at $39.11.

"There are certainly some smart investments that I owe to my predecessors. Very notably, Jerry Yang's investment in Alibaba is something that people are very excited about," Mayer said at a conference in San Francisco last year.

While Alibaba has not established how many shares it expects to sell nor a preliminary price range, experts say the company is currently worth as much as $200 billion, topping Amazon's market capitalization, $172 billion. An IPO that comes anywhere near that type of valuation would easily top Facebook's $104 billion value during its May 2012 IPO, when the Menlo Park social network raked in $16 billion, the most ever for a technology company.

Alibaba's negotiations to list its company in Hong Kong fell apart because Alibaba refused to change its unique management structure to abide by that exchange's rules, according to reports late last year. Hong Kong's exchange does not allow dual-class stock structures that give early investors greater power than new stockholders, a tactic used by several Silicon Valley powerhouses including Google and Facebook; while Alibaba is not seeking a dual-share structure, its partnership model allows the partners to dictate who sits on the company's board instead of shareholders, which Hong Kong would not allow.

Contact Jeremy C. Owens at 408-920-5876; follow him at Twitter.com/jowens510.