This time smallness won't matter in the sport of giants Being five feet tall does not stop Alibaba.com boss Jack Ma Yun from thinking big. Perhaps that is why the chairman of the mainland's largest e-commerce business has invited 6foot6 tall National Basketball Association superstar Kobe Bryant to share the spotlight with him on Friday when Alibaba celebrates its 10th anniversary with a big bash at its home base of Hangzhou. Ma (below) and Bryant will strike up a conversation about the requirements of success at the event, which also doubles as the Apec Advisory Business Council SME Summit that is expected to attract about 3,000 people from all over the world. So, what was the thinking about bringing this odd couple together? An Alibaba spokesman explained that Ma and his team of 17 friends had set out to change the world when they started the company in 1999, and that is what they reckon Bryant and his champion team Los Angeles Lakers have done to the world of basketball. 'Kobe is literally someone at the top of his game,' said the spokesman. 'He represents what can happen when great vision, passion and discipline meet with the ability to motivate teammates to achieve greatness.' Bryant is no stranger to China, having visited the country several times. In fact, after Yao Ming, the Lakers shooting guard is probably the second most popular NBA player in the country. For attending the event, Alibaba has agreed to support the Kobe Bryant China Fund, which was established in July between the Kobe Bryant Family Foundation and the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation to promote education, sports and culture programmes for children. We are sure he will see the funny side of the title of the SME-inspired summit - 'Small is Beautiful'. Anniversary notes In Hong Kong, if you cannot print shares, print banknotes. A year after Bank of China (Hong Kong) sold its commemorative Olympic banknotes, which caused a fuss as people flocked to snap up the collector's items, another note issuer, Standard Chartered, has come up with the idea of printing a million HK$150 notes to celebrate its 150th anniversary this year. Now all eyes are on another London-based bank, which actually prints the most notes in circulation in town, for its own innovative idea for a new issue. Unfortunately, HSBC is still a few years away from the 150th anniversary of its incorporation in Hong Kong, but then Standard Chartered has already stolen a march on that one - a bit like the rights issue. However, the Big Elephant is hoping to become the first foreign bank to list in Shanghai as soon as the mainland regulators get around to sorting out the rules, so perhaps it could mark the occasion with a special banknote with the Hong Kong dollar on one side and the yuan on the other. Not good enough Listing candidate China Lilang is trying everything to impress potential investors. First, the menswear company, which is looking to raise HK$1.2 billion in its initial public offering, has chosen the easy-to-remember stock code of '1234'. Then yesterday, at an investors' luncheon, it presented movie star Daniel Wu Yin-cho as its guest of honour, much to the delight of women attending the event, many of whom rushed to the front of the stage to take photographs. A fund manager told us the Fujian-based firm also spent about 30 minutes showing off its four seasons collection of men's suits, some of which were sold for about 300 yuan (HK$340) in second and third-tier mainland cities. Unfortunately, the show, like Lilang's offering, was rated as unattractive, if not boring. Cash, not rice, for dividend China Agri-Industries Holdings may have missed making a headline number, but at least it has resumed paying dividends to shareholders. The China National Cereals, Oils & Foodstuffs Corp's listed flagship reported a 38.8 per cent drop in interim profit yesterday but declared a dividend of 6.7 HK cents per share, which must have gone down a lot better than the rice coupons it handed out to shareholders in lieu of dividends at the annual general meeting last year. However, the company has not totally given up on the 5kg rice coupons idea, choosing this time to hand them out to the gathered analysts and hacks.