This qualitative case study investigates how trust was operationalized in the Chinese e-commerce company, Alibaba, in its U.S. Initial Public Offering (IPO) in 2014. Rhetorically speaking, gaining trust is a result of a successful construction of ethos. Tracing the classical and contemporary conceptualizations of ethos, I drew a conclusion supporting ethos as dwelling and proposed to investigate this conceptualization in new contexts, such as IPOs. Using Robert Stake’s (1994) case-study methodology, I analyzed two artifacts in the Alibaba IPO: (1) the online tertiary audience reactions, which include English and Chinese online business news media reactions and high status actors; (2) Alibaba’s IPO prospectus, constituting a total of eight versions. “Thick description” and rhetorical interpretations were applied to data analysis. In addition to the main analytical tool, rhetorical ethos, I used theories from regional rhetorics, visual rhetorics, and technical communication to facilitate my data analysis. Findings from the analysis of the online tertiary audience reactions indicate how ecologies, consisted of material experiences and public feelings influence the construction of ethos. Outcomes from examining the IPO prospectus reveal the dialectic relationship between discourse and materiality in ethos construction. Results from the two artifacts overlap in the importance of materiality and the role of emotion in ethos construction. Though this study aims for naturalistic generalization, results can still contribute to refining existing theories of ethos, especially in a cross-cultural context and in professional communication.