Alibaba's Jack Ma Remains Amongst China's Top 5 Richest Despite Being Away From Business

  • Alibaba Group Holding Limited BABA co-founder and former high-flying billionaire continues to pull back from the internet empire he cofounded more than 20 years ago amid Beijing's sweeping crackdown on the country's internet titans, Forbes reports.
  • Ma, China's fifth richest person with a net worth of $20.6 billion, looks to relinquish control of fintech giant Ant Group three years after he stepped down from the helm of e-commerce behemoth Alibaba.
  • According to Alibaba's latest annual report, Ma will gradually reduce his direct and indirect economic interest in Ant to no more than 8.8%. 
  • Also Read: Alibaba Comes Back Strong Against US Sanctions; To Power 20% Operations By In-House CPUs By 2025
  • Ma currently controls more than 50% of the Hangzhou-based firm through a related investment holding companies but may transfer some voting power to Ant executives, including CEO Eric Jing.
  • The move comes as Ant remakes itself into a financial holding company as urged by the country's central bank, which stepped up supervision of lending and digital payment apps like Ant's Alipay
  • Ant's valuation has taken a massive hit which, by some estimates, has fallen over 70% to as low as $70 billion after China quashed Ant's $35 billion-plus IPO in 2020 at the eleventh hour, forcing the technology firm to restructure as a financial holding company regulated by China's central bank.
  • The company made a profit of 3.7 billion yuan ($555 million) in the March quarter, down 17% from a year earlier. Alibaba holds a one-third stake in Ant.
  • Ma has remained out of the public eye for the past two years. 
  • Most recently, his 88-meter superyacht Zen was spotted in June docking off the Spanish island of Mallorca, followed by Ma's visit to a Netherlands university to learn about sustainable food production.
  • Ma quit the CEO job at Alibaba in 2013, exited as Chair in 2019, and held less than 5% of Alibaba's shares.
  • Price Action: BABA shares traded higher by 6.32% at $68.94 on the last check Thursday.
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