Alibaba Group chairman Jack Ma delivers a speech during the Softbank World 2014 annual forum in Tokyo in July. Alibaba is preparing for a multi-billion-dollar stock offer on the New York Stock Exchange. Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Twitter made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange in November. Both the social media giant and the relative newcomer Snapchat are valued in the billions, but neither company has yet turned a profit. Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images