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IPO is a special event. You can't compare it to a regular stock state.

You are technically correct that you can't just login to your broker one day and dump 5% onto the market - but there are ways to sell that amount of stock without crashing the price. A Secondary Offering is one way. It's basically doing an IPO over again but for an already public company. You can also sell directly to hedge funds/mutual funds etc. They have the opposite problem, wanting to acquire a large stake but being unable to because submitting an order for 0.1% would send the price to infinity.

1) First off, what's so different about an IPO? The road show? Please. Investors aren't plunking down ~20B for a piece of Alibaba 'cause of a slick powerpoint presentation.

2) Secondly, companies routinely do secondary sales in which they sell stakes of themselves far in excess of 0.1%.

Secondary offerings are not routine for any given business, even if they occur regularly in the broad market among thousands of companies.

It's rare for a company to do a secondary offering.

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